jim fink

"It's a different Niagara Street, in a good way," said Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. He cites a number of projects that are changing the prospects for a part of the city that has shown the signs of neglect for too many years.


It has sat vacant along Niagara Square in recent years, but Jim Fink of Business First expects the Dillon Courthouse to play a key role in a changing downtown landscape.


photo from Jay Moran

Thousands flocked to Buffalo's Broadway Market last week in the days leading up to Easter. For the rest of the year, however, large crowds are rare. The disparity has prompted Jim Fink of Business First to wonder, "Is the Broadway Market in 2016 viable?"


WBFO News File Photo

The prospects for One Seneca Tower, Buffalo's tallest building, remain uncertain. "It's a big development headache," said Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly segment on WBFO's Press Pass. 

The demand for downtown housing appears to be boosting the East Side. "I think what we are finally starting to see is what I call ‘economic development by osmosis’ work its way down Broadway, down William," said Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass.


There was initial concern over Kaleida Health's decision to build a new Children's Hospital and vacate the current Bryant Street location. Now, five developers have plans to re-use the site. Jim Fink of Business First sees that as a sign of the region's economy getting its "swagger back."


Rich Products subsidiary BR Guest has been selected to begin operating the Outer Harbor. On WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First says the group should be able to work in concert with those in charge of the Inner Harbor.


The numbers reflect the optimistic chatter regarding the region's economic revival. According to Business First's Jim Fink, the value of local development projects has risen 37 percent in a year to $19.5 billion.


While development in downtown Buffalo has been booming, there is one large exception to the trend. The city's tallest building, One Seneca Tower, remains largely undeveloped. "Wish I could write some sort of happy ending to this, but I just don't see it," said Jim Fink of Business First on WBFO's Press Pass.


If the speculation proves correct and a portion of the One Seneca Tower is used as a hotel, it will add to the trend of new hotels in the region. According to Jim Fink of Business First, as many as five new hotels could be coming to Amherst in the near future.


While hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is set to lend his name to Niagara-on-the-Lake's growing wine industry, the BPO has secured a long-term commitment to keep the growing star power JoAnn Falletta in Buffalo.  Jim Fink of Business First discusses those developments and more on WBFO's "Press Pass."


The City of Buffalo is seeking a development on Ellicott Street that would include a grocery store. "In economic development, one of the key telltale signs is landing a grocery store in a redeveloped area," said Jim Fink of Business First on WBFO's Press Pass.


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.

Press Pass: Recalling a dismal day in downtown history

Mar 17, 2015

For many local residents it was a Saint Patrick's Day they would like to forget. On March 17, 1995, the doors closed for good on what was once AM&A's department store on Main Street. "It was probably the lowest point in downtown Buffalo," said Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. For Fink, the anniversary serves as a reminder of how downtown life is on the upswing.

Press Pass: The area's most influential people

Feb 17, 2015

Business First is out with its "Power 250"---its rankings of the most influential people in Western New York in 2015. Jim Fink of Business First discussed the list during WBFO's "Press Pass."

Press Pass: Developers drawn to Canalside success

Jan 20, 2015
WBFO file photo

The Ice at Canalside has proven to be a big hit this winter as skaters have flocked to the outdoor facility, even on the most frigid evenings. The activity has not gone unnoticed by the business community, says Jim Fink on WBFO's Press Pass.

A surprising amount of spending on Canalside operations has prompted calls for an audit. On WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First discusses Global Spectrum, the operator of Canalside, and provides information on a housing complex planned at a former Catholic school building.

Press Pass: Outside groups investing in WNY

Nov 18, 2014

An aging warehouse near downtown Buffalo could find a new use.  On WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First discusses a proposal that could transform the former A&P Warehouse located near Larkinville.

Press Pass: Economic development on the rise

Oct 21, 2014

On WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First says his publication's recent study indicates that nearly $16.6 billion in economic development projects are underway throughout the eight counties of Western New York.

Bass Pro is finally making its way to the region, though not in downtown Buffalo. In WBFO's "Press Pass," Jim Fink of Business First says the outdoor retailer will locate in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It's one of many local moves  in what is becoming an active retail sector.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz bucked prevailing opinion recently when he challenged the NFL's assertion that the Buffalo Bills need a new stadium. In this week's Press Pass on WBFO, Jim Fink of Business First discussed the delicate politics connected with the issue.

Report: Pegula submits initial $1.3 billion Bills bid

Jul 30, 2014
WBFO News file photo

Preliminary bids in the sale of the Buffalo Bills have been submitted and those bids start at over $1 billion. There were reportedly at least 15 interested in purchasing the team, but only three are known to have placed an official bid before Tuesday’s deadline.

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Governor Cuomo made news on several fronts during his visit to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo last week. Sparking the most speculation were his thoughts regarding the possibility of a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. "I think he's being very realistic," said Jim Fink of Business First during WBFO's Press Pass.

File photo

Before last week's announcement that it was being purchased by SolarCity, Silevo had planned on setting up a manufacturing facility at the former site of Republic Steel in South Buffalo. In this week's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First shares some thoughts on the promise that the SolarCity takeover will bring even more jobs to Buffalo.

Press Pass: Locating a new stadium for the Bills

May 26, 2014

An investment bank and law firm have been retained by the estate of Ralph Wilson to help facilitate the sale of the Buffalo Bills. In this week's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First discusses how the move should speed a sale process which will almost certainly coincide with the building of a new stadium.

WBFO News file photo

"This is the election of the year," said Jim Fink of Business First, referring to the May 6 Buffalo School Board elections. During WBFO's Press Pass, Fink called the elections "a defining moment for Buffalo."

In the days since the death of Ralph Wilson, speculation has mounted regarding the future of the Buffalo Bills. "Everybody take a step back," says Jim Fink of Business First. On WBFO's Press Pass, Fink shares his views on what to expect for the Buffalo Bills.

Speculation on the future of the Bills in Buffalo is on the rise following the death of team owner Ralph Wilson Jr. Jim Fink of Business First believes little will change for the franchise in the immediate future.

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

Former Buffalo Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn announced last week that he will run for the Buffalo School Board, adding to the expanding list of candidates for three at-large seats. "It's a snapshot of the growing frustration" with Buffalo schools, says Jim Fink of Business First.

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Business First is out with its list of the most influential people in Western New York. Rep. Brian Higgins tops this year's Power 250 list.

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