Ten years after Great Recession, Buffalo can point to progress

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) Wednesday marked ten years to the day since the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped to 6,443 points, its lowest point during the Great Recession.

The  value of the Dow now stands at more than 25,000 points.That’s about four times more than that day 10 years ago. New York State Budget cuts even forced Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to layoff of dozens of people that week in 2009, and economic fears dominated the conversaton.

That same week in March of 2009, the demolition of Memorial Auditorium was in full swing.The plan at that time was to help subsidize Bass Pro to build a store there, but that plan dramatically changed according to Congressman Brian Higgins, who represents Buffalo’s 26th Congressional district. “Buffalo learned to believein itself and that we could grow the waterfront organically.

“The model was pretty simple; create good quality public access along the water’s edge, create a generous compliment of parks and private sector investment would follow,” said Congressman Higgins. “So you have a place like Canalside that was a $30 million investment. That leveraged $30 million here, $250 million here, but we’re not finished. We still have the DL&W that we have to complete.”

Ten years ago, the national unemployment rate was 8.5%,  more than twice what it is now at 4%. Those who could afford to buy homes were buying them at bargain prices, like Red Door Realty realtor Ayat Nieves. “Back then, I was actually a landlord picking up houses for as low as $5,000 and these same houses would be seventy, 80, 100 today.”

In March of 2009, if you had a 401k retirement account, or mutual funds and didn’t touch them during the market drop, they may be worth four times as much today, according to Steven Gattuso, an investment advisor with Courier Capital, LLC. “So, even though those extreme events like 2009 create panic, you almost have to take a deep breath, take a step back and as long as your goals are long term, stay invested.”
 
Steve Gattuso at Courier Capital says the overall economic recovery of the nation had a lot to do with Buffalo’s recent renaissance, but certain elements have done even better like the Medical corridor, and the waterfront.

“The fastest growing neighborhood in western New York is downtown Buffalo and with that comes a new energy and new optimism,” said Congressman Higgins.

Realtor Ayat Nieves sees a few reasons why Buffalo came back from the recession with such strength. “People realize that there’s alot of optimism in Buffalo and we have a lot of people coming from higher priced markets that are simply getting priced out and we have all this revitalization. We have Canalside. We have the Outer Harbor and finally there’s  a lot more things to do in Buffalo.”

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