Massive Development Fulfills 30-Year Promise of Buffalo's 'Train to Nowhere'

The development of the $750M Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, which will soon be home to 17,500 employees, is being seen as a catalyst for a culture change in the city towards urban lifestyles oriented around its heretofore underutilized rail system.
March 27, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Jenn Durfey

"Almost three decades after the first subway train rumbled beneath Main Street, Buffalo's Metro Rail system is about to assume the role that was intended and transport thousands of city residents to homes, work and play," reports Robert McCarthy. "The catalyst is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where 17,500 people are expected to be working soon, and they will depend more than ever on the oft-maligned 'train to nowhere.'”

"And while they now see Metro Rail finally fulfilling its transit and development potential, transit officials, real estate developers, city officials and those guiding the city's burgeoning medical industry all agree the development will spawn an urban lifestyle. It is also possible many Buffalonians may choose not to own cars, they say."

The Campus has spawned at least $91 million in transit-oriented development, a projected surge in rail ridership, proposals to extend the city's Metro Rail system to serve more areas, and a "new emphasis on a Main Street 'knowledge corridor' comprising the city's educational, financial, and legal institutions.

"These plans and ideas stem from a problem the City of Buffalo has not encountered for some time – growth, said Patrick J. Whalen, chief operating officer of the Medical Campus."

“It's been a long time since there's been any real growth here,” he said. “It's refreshing to be talking about it.”

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Published on Saturday, March 23, 2013 in The Buffalo News
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