BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Canadian government is closing its Buffalo consulate in the HSBC Tower - and that's just the beginning of the vacancies.
Even though Canada just spent $1.5 million renovating its consulate and renewed a 10-year lease with the HSBC Tower, it is now packing up shop. Canada's government blames federal budget trimming for the closure of the Buffalo office and changes in immigration rules.
It means 75 more jobs are leaving the HSBC Tower and moving to New York City.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "I've called on Prime Minister Steven Harper to ensure that the Canadian consulate office is kept open in Buffalo because it is an economic lifeline between the two countries. That consulate not only represents Erie County and western New York - it represents the Pittsburgh area, it represents all of upstate New York. We can't afford to have a consulate leave western New York and go to New York City because we know what will happen... they'll forget about us."
Barely a day before the announcement, HSBC revealed it's consolidating its anti-money laundering unit, slashing another 77 jobs from the tower by this fall. Phillips Lytle LLP will be vacating when its new office in the renovated Donovan building are ready.
"I would assume that HSBC Tower, the owners of the tower, would end up getting tenants for the building. But they're going to do it at rock bottom prices, which is going to drive down the entire real estate market of downtown Buffalo," warned Poloncarz.
But right in the tower's shadow is a spot of land that's seen as having a much brighter future. Officials envision the Webster Block as one of the most sought after properties along the city's waterfront.
WNY is only about three months away from finding out who and what will be coming to the Webster Block. 4 p.m. on Friday marked the deadline for interested parties to register with the city. They now have until June 15th to submit detailed proposals.
The Brown administration will award the bid for the Webster Block on or about August 15th. The city is not looking for just another office building - the requirements include: "A project that builds on recreational and sports opportunities in the district and creates lively street activity, year round."
NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has obtained a court order to prevent a Buffalo woman from ever selling puppies again.
A 24-year-old man being sought after his mother and brother were found dead in their Lehigh Acres, Florida home may be heading to Buffalo.
Around 5 p.m. on Thursday near the corner of Model City Road and Rt. 104, police say 84-year-old Jose Martinez was hit by a car driven by 82-year-old Maura Nolan. Both are residents of Lewiston.
Intense Lk Snow North early heads back to Ski Country Late; General Snow Saturday
It appears snowy weather scared off about half the crowd expected at Thursday night's Common Core forum at WNED TV studios in Buffalo.
GingerBread Lane, a 300-square-foot village made entirely of edible gingerbread, icing and candy, has been designated world's largest gingerbread village by Guinness World Records.