Buffalo natives impressed by city development

Posted at 4:26 PM, Dec 23, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-18 16:26:22-05

Many that are home for the holidays are soaking in all the excitement and the changes of the City of Buffalo with friends and family, and all the recent development is certainly generating a lot of buzz.

An afternoon at Canalside brought crowds buzzing around to skate, walk around, see Harborcenter or stay at the new Courtyard Marriott. It is all a far cry from parking lots and acres of emptiness and a big change that's being noticed by those coming home to see it for the first time.

"It's way different. I like it, I like how we're building something, doing something, activities. Normally when I come home I would never come down here, there's nothing. So it's much better that there's something to see now," Buffalo native visiting from Brooklyn Sarah Sullivan said.

And it's not just at Canalside. Riverworks is set to open next week and the new Buffalo Creek Casino nearby also give locals and visitors even more things to do.

"It didn't look like this at all and I rarely came downtown because there was nothing to do and nowhere to hang out. And I wish this was here because I would probably definitely hang out here," Nkechi Ejimadu, a Buffalo native from Connecticut added.

Some are liking the new Buffalo so much, they're moving back. Brian Hayden lived away from his hometown for eight years before coming back earlier this year, part of a recent homecoming movement of sorts here locally. 

"It's just awesome to be 26-years-old, a few years out of college, and part of an amazing transformation going on," Hayden said.

And as a communications manager for Visit Buffalo Niagara, his job calls for getting stories of Buffalo's redevelopment out there.

"You see Buffalo's renaissance being recognized by media outside of Buffalo. By Toronto, the media capital of Canada, pointing its readers to come check out Buffalo. It kind of shows you how far the city's come along in the last few years," Hayden added.

And that positivity is not just among those here for the holidays or who recently moved back.

Some locals who live in some of the area suburbs say this new development is giving them a reason to come downtown as well, and spend some time and money in a place they wouldn't before.