BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Mark Croce made a significant impact on the landscape in downtown Buffalo. One of his biggest projects was Statler City.

Its come a long way since 2011.

The building went from falling apart, to a popular site for events and receptions.

City officials credit Croce as the man who saved it.

State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes’ district covers part of downtown.

She was a friend of Croce’s and told us the void created by his loss will be filled by his legacy – which showed what people can do with vigor and vision.

“Mark was a visionary,” Peoples-Stokes said. “He saw empty buildings that could be revived and turned them to life. He did that not just with one building in downtown Buffalo but with several. I think his vision speaks volumes to what the potential is for our community when people step up with an idea that they see through to fruition. Mark did that.”

His vision was on full display on March 16, 2011.

That’s the day Croce officially acquired the old hotel Statler building in Niagara Square.

Much of the building was in ruins at the time.

City officials feared a costly $15 million demolition of the historic landmark, but thanks in part to millions of dollars in public grant money, it was saved.

And it was Croce who received the credit.

Most recently – Croce was planning a $3 million facelift to the exterior of the building’s first two stories.

He won preservation board approval in June.

The building represents just one example of Croce’s development ambition.

In a statement released by his company, Buffalo Development Corporation, his former coworkers said we want to assure the employees and the public that business will continue without interruption.

That statement went on to say they plan on having a more in-depth discussion about Croce’s impact on the City of Buffalo.

But understandably they said that won’t happen until the appropriate time.