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Press Pass: Concerns over redevelopment of the AM&A's site

The project represents a $70 million investment, but redeveloping the long-abandoned AM&A's store in downtown Buffalo has hit a snag. Last week, the Buffalo Planning Board delayed a vote on the project for two weeks.

"I'm not getting nervous, yet," said Jim Fink of Business First during this week's Press Pass on WBFO.

The concern centers on the main entrance into the historic structure. With that portion of Main Street still closed to most vehicular traffic, the future hotel would need to use Washington Street for loading and unloading passengers from tour buses. The street narrows at that spot. 

"There might be a little traffic jam. That's a good thing in my opinion. It means we're coming back," Fink said.

"If you go to downtown Toronto, Yonge Street, there's traffic jams. Nobody complains."

Fink also shared some research that indicates the Rolling Stones' concert may provide a windfall to Western New York tourism this summer. Ticket sales are moving ahead of projections; hotel bookings are on the rise.

Also, the migration of residents to downtown Buffalo carries another benefit. Fink says nearly 40 restaurants have either recently opened or are slated to open downtown.

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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.