Progress on Buffalo's Canalside

April 27, 2013 Updated Apr 27, 2013 at 7:28 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

April 27, 2013 Updated Apr 27, 2013 at 7:28 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - It's a daily construction blitz, turning what was once a worn down Buffalo neighborhood into a local treasure.

The Old Donovan Building has been gutted and is being completely rebuilt from the inside and out.

Officials say this is just one sign of growth at Buffalo's Canalside.

Many hope the sights and sounds of the construction mean a turn-around for Buffalo's waterfront.

The Old Donovan Building was once home to state offices. However, the landmark has sat vacant for nearly two decades.

Now crews are turning it into a building that will hold the Phillips Lytle LLP and its approximately 300 employees on the top floors.

The bottom of the building will be home to a Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, complete with 98 rooms.

David McNarma, with Phillips Lytle LLP, says when the company first began looking, Buffalo's Canalside had an uncertain future. However, "the opportunities to be a part of this exciting development just kind of overwhelmed us in our decision making process."

This is a crucial part of Buffalo's development. Bringing Phillips Lytle toe One Canalside is a $30 million investment. The law firm is the first private sector organization to be a part of the Canalside's growth.

It's also across the street from the Webster Block and next to public canals that are currently under construction.

McNarma took Congressman Brian Higgins and State Senator Tim Kennedy on a tour of the Old Donovan Building. From the top floor's bird eye view, you could see construction going on surrounding the building.

"You see not only construction and thousands of people working on these projects," says Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) but you also see development parcels that will be filled in by developers."

State Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) adds "what we're standing on today is a part of Western New York's history and future. It's not going to take much time to come down to Canalside and not recognize where you are."

The goal is to have the law offices filled by mid-November of this year. The hotel should be ready by next spring.