Developer - "We Can't Afford to Lose HSBC"

August 5, 2010 Updated Aug 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

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August 5, 2010 Updated Aug 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Will they stay and expand or will they leave another empty building behind in downtown Buffalo?

"They can't let them walk. That would be the final nail in the coffin." says Victor Lettieri of Buffalo.

"I wouldn't like to see that. Our economy is down right now. They are important. I hope they stay." Evelyn Mecca tells Eyewitness News.

Buffalo developer Rocco Termini says HSBC is crucial to Buffalo's economy, and city lawmakers need to make a deal attractive enough for HSBC to expand here.

"We can not afford to lose them," Termini said.

He said that HSBC could be a better anchor tenant than Bass Pro would have been because the jobs at HSBC are high paying.

Thousands of high paying jobs would attract restaurants and retail to the waterfront.

Termini added that all of this controversy is is very unattractive to the bank, which perfers a low profile.

Termini said he wouldn't be surprised if HSBC backs out of this project if the controversy continues.