Downtown eyesore getting a makeover

Jan 30, 2015

In another positive sign that downtown Buffalo is coming back to life, work is finally underway on a long-vacant landmark.

The former AM&A's department store in downtown Buffalo
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Crews are preparing the AM&A's building on Main Street, across from the Main Place Mall, for an overhaul. A New York City developer is reportedly teaming up with Chinese investors to convert the multistory building into a 300-room hotel for Chinese tour groups.

Buffalo Place Executive Director Michael Schmand points out that the Chinese have been investing for years across the U.S.

"Buffalo just seems like a natural place for them to want to be. And if you think of the historic tourism that we have here, with [Niagara] Falls, with Toronto being so close, with the high Chinese population [in Toronto], it just seems a natural progression," Schmand said.

Outside the AM&A's building, Darren from Buffalo told WBFO News that he thinks it's a good idea.  

"It's a little bit of an eyesore right now. So, glad to see they're working on development," he said
 
Along with a hotel, plans include a spa and fitness center, restaurant and medical diagnostic center. An opening date has not been announced.