ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Economic development officials from western New York said Tuesday that their new focus runs counter to the suburban sprawl of the past 50 years and emphasizes urban centers, especially Buffalo and its waterfront, to attract young people.
Real estate developer Howard Zemsky said the greater Buffalo area has sprawled over three times the land mass it covered in 1960 while population dropped, including a steady exodus of young adults. That has meant higher capital costs and redundant public services, he said.
"How many kids graduate from college and say, 'I want to go where there's great sprawl'?" Zemsky said. Instead, college graduates are looking for "cool" places to live with "urban vitality" and public transportation, he said.
Zemsky, whose company has restored landmark office buildings in Buffalo's downtown business district, spoke at a meeting Tuesday of 10 regional development councils the Cuomo administration established last year. "Our policy's around smart growth for investing in urban cores and talent centers throughout the region," he said.
Another redevelopment emphasis for western New York is training for manufacturing in the region, expected to lose 21.4 percent of its workers through retirement by 2020. Others include health care, as well as a large hospitality industry supported by Canadians, Zemsky said.
Satish Tripathi, president of the University at Buffalo and co-chairman of the western regional council with Zemsky, said they rank among the top 15 metropolitan areas for academic research and development but far lower in venture capital investment, another area they are focused on.
"The national economy sets the current, and the state economies compete within that national current," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, adding that they are segmented. "There's no state economy. There are regional economies."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A man who was wrongly convicted of second degree murder in 2009 has been set free after spending four years in prison.
Investigators are trying to determine who dumped a dog on the side of the road inside a zipped up Coors Light thermal bag.
A man once featured on the Cattaraugus County Top 10 Most Wanted List has pleaded guilty after being extradited from Indiana.
Lake effect snow warning in effect for southern tier.
Two men have been arrested by Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies and charged with selling heroin in the Village of Attica.
A woman was arrested Sunday after she allegedly tried to bite her neighbor during an argument over offensive odors.