Eyes of Wonder: A Photographic Exploration of Nature and Gratitude” Exhibit Opens at HANSA

Last month, HANSA workspace located at 505 Ellicott Street welcomed Brenda Turtelaub Feldstein as its new artist-in-residence, showcasing her latest exhibit, “Eyes of Wonder: A Photographic Exploration of Nature and Gratitude.” The exhibit’s goal is to inspire viewers to connect with nature, appreciate the present moment, and cherish the world around them. Highlights include stunning shots from various National Parks and local gems like Chestnut Ridge’s Eternal Flame.

“It all started with a life-changing trip to Yosemite National Park,” Brenda shared with the audience in the Great Room at HANSA Wednesday evening. She recalled driving for miles in the forest as she entered the Park, and at one point the brush cleared revealing colossal granite monoliths towering into the blue sky.  “It was awe-inspiring and I was overcome with a deep desire to capture all the beauty before my eyes, from the seemingly unimportant moss on a fallen trunk to the vast landscapes that seemed to stretch on forever,” Brenda said. Since then, she’s been exploring the outdoors, snapping pictures of the incredible wonders from near and far away destinations.

Brenda’s love for nature and photography are intrinsically connected. “Photography has trained my eyes to go beyond merely observing and allows me to truly see and acknowledge what is in front of me with a sense of wonder and gratitude,” she explained. The “Eyes of Wonder” exhibit features selected works from Siesta Key Beach, Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree State Park, Yellowstone Park, the Sea of Galilee, Zion National Park, and Niagara Falls State Park.

As visitors explore her work at HANSA, Brenda hopes to encourage them to embark on their own journey to find wonder and gratitude around them. “Buffalo is certainly a wonderful place to start!” she noted.

In addition to photography, Brenda is an award-winning filmmaker through her video production company, A Special Story. She collaborates with organizations, brands, and people to tell inspiring stories that connect with audiences and create a positive impact in the community. Some of Brenda’s clients include Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Park School of Buffalo, Buffalo Jewish Federation, Kulture Khazana LCC, and Discover Fitness among others. View more of her impressive photography on Instagram at @ASpecialStory.

Brenda’s exhibit at HANSA will run through the summer. Her framed photographs are available for purchase, with $50 from each sale being donated to the Buffalo Urban League and Jewish Family Services of WNY in memory of the May 14th victims, as she believes her impact must stretch beyond the exhibit walls.

To enjoy this inspirational exhibit at HANSA, a vibrant hub that blends an all-inclusive flexible office with a modern coworking center, use this link:  HANSA – Artist In Residence Tour

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Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue BPO concert will repeat Sunday at 2:30

Kleinhans Music Hall was quite full last night when JoAnn Falletta conducted a varied concert and I hope the large crowd was because some people were new to the classical concert scene.  It was the kind of concert that you always hope will be someone’s “first love.”  There was something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and it all began with something bittersweet.

BPO President and Executive Director Dan Hart came on stage along with Music Director JoAnn Falletta for a heartfelt announcement that after over 40 years, stagehand Charlie Gill was going to retire.  The onstage orchestra responded with an outpouring of love and respect for the man who has made their professional lives possible by always being there for them, onstage, backstage, and even overseas.  As Falletta said “Thank you, Charlie, for keeping us safe.”

Of course, Charlie wasn’t done just yet.  Because this concert required more than the usual rearranging of instruments.  As the evening progressed, the orchestra got smaller… and smaller.

The concert started (and will start this Sunday, June 4 at 2:30) with a work that the BPO is recording, “Festival Music” by African-American composer Adolphus (“Dolph” as Falletta calls him) Hailstork.  Reading the liner notes, it was inspired by a trip to Guyana, where Hailstork heard African rhythms and African drums.  Indeed the percussion section was expansive, with four percussionists with some unusual instruments and one tympanist, not counting the piano (technically a percussion instrument).  A celeste was next to the piano, and behind it was a synth keyboard creating a steel drum part.  All through the piece were these little explosions of new sounds.  And every once in a while we got a little blues riff.

To me, though, it sounded quite Mexican, so if you like the driving relentlessly forward-moving music of Revueltas, or Moncayo, or Márquez, all of which the BPO has performed over the years, I know you will like Hailstork’s “Festival Music.”

Then came the moving of the chairs and the exit of the percussionists and other musicians including all the brass except for a trumpeter because it was time for the return to Kleinhans of pianist Norman Krieger and the gorgeous Piano Concerto No. 4, to me, his most intimate concerto.  Sure, I love the bombastic Beethoven of concertos 3 and 5 (“The Emperor”) but there’s something so emotional about No. 4 that gets me every time.

The thought I had listening was that I was with my grandfather (who used to take me to Kleinhans).  I know that in our youth-obsessed culture, that might sound like a diss, but I felt when Krieger played that I was with someone, like my grandfather, who could do anything and do it well.  (One of my German grandfather’s favorite expressions was “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”)  There was no flash, no “look at me!” that you get from younger pianists.  In fact, Krieger even had the music in front of him.  It was just perfect. 

After multiple curtain calls, the audience got an encore, a Chopin Etude.  Then intermission and the removal of even more chairs, so that when we came back it was a tiny orchestra of only 38 people, “all soloists” as Falletta told us from the stage.  That’s a Falletta thing.  She loves to program music where her musicians get to strut their stuff, and that was the case for the final work, the Suite (from the incidental music to) Le bourgeois gentilhomme by late 19th, early 20th-century composer Richard Strauss.

When you go you can read the excellent (as always) program notes by Chaz Stuart and Falletta also explains the story from the stage, but this is quintessential Strauss, blending combinations of instruments, and giving each a little moment in the sun.  In a way, it was a perfect bookend to the Hailstork piece, which also moved the music all around the orchestra.

So we got something old (the venerable Beethoven), something new Hailstork’s “Festival Music,” something borrowed (Strauss quotes from his inspiration, Lully’s 1670 version of Le bourgeois gentilhomme) and something blue, or at least bluesy, those riffs in the Hailstork piece.

Runtime: 2 hours 15 minutes

Kleinhans Music Hall is at “3 Symphony Circle” Buffalo, 14201 where Porter Avenue, Richmond Avenue, North Street and Wadsworth meet at a traffic circle.  Visit or call 716-885-5000.  Full-service bar in the lobby or across the lobby in the Mary Seaton Room.  Masks are optional.

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BASICS — The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 3 — Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo;  716-852-2600; June 1 – 24— 7:30 performances on Thursdays – Sundays. Call box office for tickets or go to

RUNTIME — 2 hours – including one intermission

THUMBNAIL SKETCH — This is a parody of the sitcom The Golden Girls. The hit comedy returns with two new “episodes” of naughty drag hilarity just in time for Pride. If you haven’t been able to snag a ticket the last two times these girls have hit the stage, here’s your warning: this production will sell out. Join Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia for another definitely-leave-the-kids-at-home night out. Script by David Cerda. Directed by Todd Warfield.


The Golden Girls was an award winning sitcom that aired from 1985 – 1992 and is still popular in reruns. Four 50+ year old women share a house in Miami and support each other through both happy and hard times. Golden Girls drag parodies have been popping up all over the country. There are musical versions and there is even a puppet show version. We are fortunate here in WNY to get David Credo’s new “volumes” regularly.

As Dorothy, the leader of the pack, Mike Seitz is never over the top. His is a believable interpretation of the role. Mr. Seitz does a fine job and slings out those caustic one-line putdowns in true Bea Arthur fashion.

Michael (BeBe Bvlgari) Blasdell is a luscious Blanche who especially shines in Act 2 when the plot takes an incredible twist! No spoilers here, but the show builds to a really fun and unexpected sequence.

I believe that Joey Bucheker has been Rose in every incarnation of Golden Girls at Alleyway Theatre. Mr. Bucheker has absolutely nailed this character – a dewy-eyed darling in a dirndl – and he is always endearing as the perpetually befuddled Rose.

Photo by Sarah Potter

This production sports the best Alleyway Theatre Sophia to date. Matt Rittler looks and sounds just like Estelle Getty and he does amazing work throughout the show.  The mambo sequence is sensational and it left me agog with glee!

In supporting roles are genial Tim Goehrig, lively Michael Wells, and zany Collin Ranney. 

The script full of quips is by Chicago playwright, David Cerda, and it is one of the series of his Golden Girls productions. Built into his plays are Golden Girls trivia games and TV commercials to help the audience go back in time and get into the mood. Welcome to the 80’s!

Director Todd Warfield is known around town as The Go To Guy for directing imaginative campy parodies. I remember Posiedon: The Upside Down Musical and L’imitation Of Life with great fondness. Golden Girls 3 is fast-paced and very funny and another feather in Mr. Warfield’s cap.

Adding to this entertaining evening are interactive choreography by Joey Bucheker, the well detailed Golden Girls set by Christopher Rhoton, and fabulous costumes by Todd Warfield. 

For an amusing (albeit adult’s only) evening – perfect for a summer night — I recommend The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 3. A laugh filled evening of theatre is one of life’s greatest treasures.

*HERD OF BUFFALO (Notes on the Rating System)

ONE BUFFALO: This means trouble. A dreadful play, a highly flawed production, or both. Unless there is some really compelling reason for you to attend (i.e. you are the parent of someone who is in it), give this show a wide berth.

TWO BUFFALOS: Passable, but no great shakes. Either the production is pretty far off base, or the play itself is problematic. Unless you are the sort of person who’s happy just going to the theater, you might look around for something else.

THREE BUFFALOS: I still have my issues, but this is a pretty darn good night at the theater. If you don’t go in with huge expectations, you will probably be pleased.

FOUR BUFFALOS: Both the production and the play are of high caliber. If the genre/content are up your alley, I would make a real effort to attend.

FIVE BUFFALOS: Truly superb–a rare rating. Comedies that leave you weak with laughter, dramas that really touch the heart. Provided that this is the kind of show you like, you’d be a fool to miss it!

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Glimpse: Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Some of the first visitors to the newly expanded, updated, and renovated Buffalo AKG Art Museum campus, have come away with sensational reports of what it’s like to venture into a couple of the gallery spaces.

While the Gundlach Building is still underwraps, the Ralph Wilson Town Square is a real showstopper. The glass canopy overhead – Common Sky, by Olafur Eliasson (Icelandic, born Denmark, 1967) and Sebastian Behmann (German, born 1969) of Studio Other Spaces – is as magical as one could ever hope for.

“… as if it was a crystal palace,” noted one visitor.

Between the kaleidoscopic sunburst refractions, and the cast prism shadows beamed onto the floor of the shimmering Town Hall, there is “an immense sense of ethereal joy, to be in a space of such light and reflection.”

“Upon seeing it for the first time – a visual experience that will last forever after leaving that space. Just stand and take in the reflections, shadows, a magical tree covered in icicles, let your imagination soar…. It’s like being inside a giant kaleidoscope of crystals, brilliant as the sun reflecting on ice crystals on a winter day.”

Another item of intrigue is the significant update to the historic Sculpture Court and ancillary gallery spaces, where marble floors have been swapped for wood.

Overhead, numerous square sunbursts framing the massive skylight have been restored.

Then there’s the thirty-foot-long glass mosaic wall by Firelei Baez (Dominican, born 1981) – Chorus of the Deep – inside Cornelia restaurant.

Historic elements once again gleam with pride, while new artistic and architectural additions evoke a renewed sense of pride for Buffalo’s beloved museum.

Visitors will find unanticipated visual delights around every corner – a phenomenal experience that will soon be exponentially heightened by the unveiling of the “still in the works” Gundlach Building.

To learn about Buffalo AKG Art Museum’s Opening Weekend (Knox and Wilmers buildings) – FREE to the Community, click here. The Gundlach building is anticipated to open July 20.

Get connected:

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High production values in Menotti’s MEDIUM and TELEPHONE with Buffalo Opera Unlimited.  Final show today at 5 pm (!).

THE BASICS:  THE MEDIUM and THE TELEPHONE, two operas by Gian Carlo Menotti, written in English, conducted by Nick DelBello, stage directed by Joseph S. Spann, presented in a double bill format by Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Friday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm and Saturday, June 3rd at 5:00 pm in the Warren Enters Theatre in Upton Hall at Buffalo State University (enter Iroquois Road and follow the “OPERA” signs on campus).  Tickets (and complimentary ice water) at the door. This is not a student production.  Tickets are $35 General, $25 Seniors, $10 Students  For information, contact (716) 882-1692 or visit

THUMBNAIL SKETCHES: In THE MEDIUM, a tragic opera, a phony but successful medium, “Madame Flora,” is conducting a séance when she herself feels “touched” (actually grabbed around the neck).  She becomes obsessed with this memory and by the end of the opera has accused then shot her innocent young assistant.

In THE TELEPHONE, a comic opera, a young man is trying to propose, but every time he’s about to pop the question, she is digital-device-distracted, answering the telephone or, in this updated version her cellphone, or looking something up on her iPad, or responding to an email on her laptop.  Finally, he has an inspiration and calls her from the street on his cell phone, and digging her “Princess” phone out of the couch cushions, she says yes, on what we might call an actual telepone.

Certainly, both gun violence and people overly focused on their digital devices are two topics that remain quite contemporary.

RUNTIME: Two hours with one intermission

THE PLAYERS, THE PLAY, AND THE PRODUCTION:  Everything about this double bill is first-rate.  It’s only up for two performances, which is the fate of opera these days.  If it were a musical presented by, say, Second Generation Theatre (and the whole evening had a very satisfying 2nd Gen vibe) or perhaps MusicalFare or The Kavinoky, it would have a successful multi-week run.  So musical theater peeps, if you want to see an opera, this would be a great way to start.  It will feel “right.”  The music is accessible, the voices are clear and bright, the acting is quite realistic, the plots are easy to follow, and it’s sung in English.

The 13-person chamber pit orchestra (actually on a raised platform to the audience’s right) was the best that BOU and Orchestral Contractor Carl Lam have assembled in my memory.  It’s your basic wind quintet plus string quintet expanded by trumpet, percussion, and piano and they gave composer Menotti’s music a whole lotta love.  It’s a tricky score in that every part is “exposed” meaning that no instrumentalist can “hide” behind a big orchestra.  Yes, there are some sweeping lyrical passages, but for the most part, it’s a series of charming little musical explosions one after the other.  Conductor Nick DelBello was on top of things.

If all you’ve ever seen of Menotti’s 25 operas is an amateur production of his Christmas opera AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS and you think that “once you’ve seen one night visitor you’ve seen ‘em all” [rim-shot] then this will be an ear-opening treat.  His music sounds very much like that of Samuel Barber with whom you may be more familiar.  This is no surprise since they were partners for many years.  And both were “out” composers, making this a very appropriate choice for Pride Month.

The set by David King was ideal, with an enormous circular object against the back wall in THE MEDIUM which at first looked like a mandala or zodiac wheel (or a clock with no hands) but when illuminated from behind during the séance was both spooky and stunning.  In the second opera, THE TELEPHONE, it became a circular window through which we saw a hyper-realistic telephone pole.  None of that would have worked without the excellent lighting by  Harry Mandris.  Costumes were by Artie-Award-winning Jenna Damberger who designs all around town.  Daniel Warman was the stage manager. 

L-R Andrea Bickford, Daniel Kamalic, Joelle Lachance

Gabrielle LaBare over Kate Fruchterman as AJ Governettio crouches in fear
Photos by  Lee Ann Grace

Without a doubt, soprano Gabrielle LaBare as “Madame Flora” the title character in THE MEDIUM was a force to be reckoned with.  Her big voice was able to match and soar over the orchestra.  As much as I loved the orchestra, some singers were not quite as able to rise above it as I would have liked.  My strong advice when you go this afternoon is to sit as close as possible to the stage.  That’s where I moved to after intermission.  Not only will the balance of voices and pit be better but, since heat rises and the Enters Theatre isn’t air-conditioned, it’s cooler down in front.

Kate Fruchterman sang “Monica,” the medium’s dutiful daughter, with a beautiful crystalline voice.  I would have appreciated super-titles since a lot of her words were drowned out by the orchestra.  Again, my advice is to sit down front.  High school student AJ Govenettio, just a senior at Williamsville South, was Toby, her mute assistant, with some serious acting chops.  We hope to see him around for a while.  Andrea Bickford, Daniel Kamalić, and Joelle Lachance, rounded out the cast admirably as the séance attendees.  

The acting was first rate and considerable credit goes to Joseph S. Spann for staging that worked organically and didn’t seem at all, well…. “stagey.”

THE TELEPHONE cast includes Julia Anne Cordani and Christopher Wagner.  Cordani was an absolute delight as “Lucy,” the ditzy distracted young woman who just can’t get her nose and her mind out of the damn phone!  Never missing a beat while singing with a clear, sparkling soprano, she jumps, leaps, spins, and tumbles over furniture, as well as over her boyfriend “Ben.”  Mr. Wagner’s voice is pleasing, but his vocal role here is not designed to compete with Lucy’s but mostly to bear it all stoically with an occasional exasperated eye roll.  Besides excellent staging, Spann slightly updated the script (seamlessly I might add) to include references to “digital” and “fiber optics” etc. which got a lot of laughs from the audience.

Julia Anne Cordani as Lucy in a frothy dress for a bubbly character, costumes by Jenna Damberger

Christopher Wagner as Ben, Julia Anne Cordani as Lucy

Julia Anne Cordani as Lucy, Christopher Wagner as Ben, set by David King
Photos by  Lee Ann Grace

Note: this double bill is not at the larger, traditional BOU Rockwell Hall theater space.  And I know that for many of us, the thought of finding your way anywhere on a college campus is daunting.  But they’ve made it easy.  Enter the Buffalo State campus off Elmwood Avenue at the Iroquois Drive entrance, immediately south of the Scajaquada Expressway (Route 198).  Don’t go to Rockwell Road.  Enter at Iroquois Drive.  Parking is available in lots all along Iroquois Drive.  AND THERE ARE “OPERA” SIGNS WITH ARROWS POSTED ABOUT EVERY 100 YARDS.  Parking Lot I-37 is located adjacent to the handicap-accessible entrance to Upton Hall and the Enters Theatre (follow the red arrow on the campus map).  You can also enter Upton to access the Enters Theatre from Lots I-34 and I-35, but this entrance is not handicap-accessible (see the red dot on the campus map).

Lead image: L-R Gabrielle LaBare, Daniel Kamalic, Joelle Lachance, Andrea Bickford

*HERD OF BUFFALO (Notes on the Rating System)

ONE BUFFALO: This means trouble. A dreadful play, a highly flawed production, or both. Unless there is some really compelling reason for you to attend (i.e. you are the parent of someone who is in it), give this show a wide berth.

TWO BUFFALOS: Passable, but no great shakes. Either the production is pretty far off base, or the play itself is problematic. Unless you are the sort of person who’s happy just going to the theater, you might look around for something else.

THREE BUFFALOS: I still have my issues, but this is a pretty darn good night at the theater. If you don’t go in with huge expectations, you will probably be pleased.

FOUR BUFFALOS: Both the production and the play are of high caliber. If the genre/content are up your alley, I would make a real effort to attend.

FIVE BUFFALOS: Truly superb–a rare rating. Comedies that leave you weak with laughter, dramas that really touch the heart. Provided that this is the kind of show you like, you’d be a fool to miss it!

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Inaugural Day of Fitness at Larkin Square

Get your bikes ready, and bring your family and friends along, to the inaugural Larkinville Day of Fitness! All day long, on Saturday, June 3, guests to Larkinville will be able to participate in Zumba, pickleball, yoga, shuffleboard, and a four mile run. Not to mention hooping, a lounge by Lululemon, the Breezy Bowl Food Truck, a health market, and Barre… and the list goes on!

There’s so much to see and do, while getting fit, having fun, and enjoying some amazing sunny weather at one of Buffalo’s most coveted urbanist retreats.

Included in the mix is the opening of Fitness in the Parks classes in Larkin Square which will continue through the end of August. 

All of the following events are free, including parking, thanks to the support of KeyBank and Independent Health.

9 AM – 10 AM, Pickleball Round Robin Larkin Square was the first outdoor venue in Buffalo to offer pickleball courts and now it is the fastest growing sport in the country. Larkinville Day of Fitness will begin with a pickleball round robin at 9 am on the newly resurfaced courts. Players should bring their own paddles for an hour of pickleball playing. 

10 AM – 11 AM  Fitness in the Parks ZUMBA ® This is the kick-off to the Fitness in the Parks season of free classes in Larkin Square. Enjoy ZUMBA ® each Saturday at 10AM and Cardio-kickboxing on Mondays at 6 PM through the end of August.

11 AM – 11:45 AM  Yoga on the Boardwalk with Space on Seneca’s, Colleen Heidinger.  During the summer season, Colleen teaches fee based class on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. Enjoy this free class with Colleen today. Bring your own yoga mat.

11 AM Four Mile Run lead by the Urban Run Series beginning and ending in Larkin Square.

Market: From 10 AM – 1 PM all are welcome to stop by a healthy oriented vendor market in Larkin Square. Featured vendor offerings will include:

Breezy Bowl Food Truck  Enjoy healthy and delicious food from Breezy Bowl Food Truck.

Hooping Heals, hula hoops for sale and demos.

Neighborhood Barre Offering tips and info on Barre classes.

Independent Health will have fun giveaways and share more about their summer programming throughout Western New York, including Fitness in the Parks.

ReddyBike Learn more about the Reddy Bikes available to ride throughout the Buffalo and Niagara region and sign up for a membership.

LuLu Lemon will be setting up a lounge for all to enjoy at the event.

Buffalo Police Athletic League, sharing all about their PLAYSTREETS program.

Women’s Post Natal Health with Ashley Schaab, a female oriented and pelvic floor physical therapist as well as Heather Chapp who specializes in massage and postnatal massage. They will talk about at home stretching and their other services.

Dan Boza Acupressure and Massage 

Donna’s Pepper Jelly and Jams, selling home made jams and jellies

The Drunken Candle Shop, selling artisans soaps and plants inside recycled liquor bottles

Sunrae Love Jewelry, selling artisan made jewelry

Cityview Creations, selling “716” Buffalo shirts and sweatshirts

For more information on Larkinville and upcoming events, including Food Truck Tuesday starting on June 6th and KeyBank Live at Larkin starting on June 7th please visit or follow Larkin Square on social media for frequent updates.

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Opportunity “Knocks” – 1458 Main Street

Here’s a real opportunity to do something great on Main Street. At this stage in the game, we need to looking at better infill opportunities, whether we’re looking at a sprawling surface lot or any other underutilized property. I would have to say that 1458 Main Street falls into the latter category. The single story 5,536 square foot office-with-retail warehouse is prime for a complete redevelopment. It’s going to take someone with some vision to understand the potential here.

With a 12 car garage (3,087 square feet), a 3,974 square foot detached warehouse, a 48 vehicle on site parking lot, and 91 feet of frontage along Main Street… the opportunities are endless, especially for a developer that wants to go “up.”

As for the location of 1458 Main Street, there’s a lot of upside at the moment. The Flexlume building is for sale next door, Unapologetic Coffee and Vasilis opened nearby, Jericho Road purchased the former Bristol Home site, and Canisius College and the Medical Campus are in close proximity. The site is also situated along the Metro Rail route, for added convenience.

Investing in Buffalo’s Main Street is a good idea. We’re starting to see some significant changes, which will only be enhanced and sped up by a (coming soon) Middle Main Smart Corridor.

Middle Main (Goodell Street to Kensington Avenue): The City has secured $50.52 million in funding to complete a streetscape work on Main Street from Goodell Street to Kensington Avenue. The city is currently designing phase 1 of the project, which includes Main Street from Goodell to Ferry Street. Phase 2 of the project features streetscape work on Main Street from Ferry to Kensington Avenue.

1458 Main Street is on the market for $885,000.

Hanna Commercial Real Estate | Listing agent: Gregory Zadrozny | (716) 830-8943

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Uniland Taps Into High Demand for Warehouse Space

With one building completed and leased in Lackawanna’s Renaissance Commerce Park and strong interest in a second building under construction, Uniland Development is working on plans for a third. Located on the former site of the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, the 230-acre Renaissance Commerce Park along Route 5 has undergone a significant industrial transformation in recent years. 

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency [ECIDA] is developing the site through its land development arm, the Industrial Land Development Corporation [ILDC]. The redevelopment of the park has involved a complete remediation under the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program, expanding water and sewer extensions and public roads onto the site, the relocation of rail lines, and the enhancement of the multi-use Shoreline Trail bike pathway along Route 5 to expand access and usability at the site.

The first warehouse building at 8 Dona Street is occupied by Total Quality Assurance International (TQAI) with 108,000 sq.ft. of space and Max Advanced Brakes headquartered in Toronto in the remaining 42,000 sq.ft.

Uniland is constructing a second spec building, adjacent to and north of 8 Dona Street, at 2 Steelworkers Way. That building is expected to also be 150,000 sq.ft. but can be expanded to 170,000 sq.ft. With strong interest in the second building, Uniland is working with the ECIDA on purchasing additional land in the business park to construct another 150,000 sq.ft. warehouse building to the west of 2 Steelworkers Way. The facilities include options for customized interior buildouts for first-generation tenants.

Warehouse and flex space is at a premium with a vacancy rate on existing space under one percent which can inhibit business growth and encourage new job creators to bypass the region in favor of other states.

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2023 Sounds of Buffalo Live Music Series @ Wilkeson Pointe

The highly anticipated Outer Harbor Concert Series (Strictly Hip, Dark Star Orchestra, etc.) is just one of the many live music showcases taking place at the Outer Harbor this summer.

For those who are looking for something a little more intimate, there’s the Sounds of Buffalo Live Music Series, which takes place at the “fully revamped” Wilkeson Pointe Beer Garden.

Following is the lineup for the live music series:

June 16th: Night of the Grateful Dead featuring Dead Alliance of Buffalo

June 30th: Buffalo Tango Orchestra

July 21st: Blaised and Confused

August 19th: Buffalo Music Club Live (An All-Star Affair)

Along with the live music, and the serene waterfront setting, food and drinks will be offered at the Wilkeson Pointe Beer Garden, the Nosh and Nibble Food Truck, and the Lakeside Bike Park Café.

From water sport rentals to hikes up the spiral hill (topped with wind sculptures), Wilkeson Pointe has become one of the rallying flags of the Buffalo waterfront.

To get a better picture, of all of the events and activities taking place at the waterfront this summer, click here.

The Sounds of Buffalo Live Music Series is presented by Hartman’s Distilling, with support from Upstate Honda Dealers.

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A Renewed Promise to Skincare and the Environment: Renew Bath + Body’s Latest Product Line is State-of-the-Art

For nine years, Renew Bath + Body has been dutifully providing the Western New York area with all-natural bath, body, and skincare products from its Elmwood Village retail location (with online shopping available as well). Renew’s mission is to “bring clean beauty and sustainability to all communities,” and their latest initiatives are evidence for accountability.

Across the nearly 30 different product lines carried by Renew Bath + Body, 1,600 unnatural and unpronounceable ingredients are avoided, resulting in better-for-you skincare items you can feel good about. 

Beyond the wholesome ingredients within its products, Renew has most recently launched a hand soap starter kit with 100% plastic-free packaging. Each hand soap starter kit includes a reusable bottle and three refill pods that are encased in a water-soluble film. Within six months of using the product, the packaging will completely biodegrade, leaving no waste. These kits are now available to purchase and are offered in Gardenia + Lemon scent – a perfect aromatic combination to ring in the warmer months.

The creation of this hand soap line was three years in the making due to the complexities involved in ensuring a truly eco-friendly product that will stand the test of time. Production of the hand soap starter kit is made possible by the advanced technology at Junk Free Skin – the manufacturing center on Great Arrow Avenue that is co-founded by Renew’s President, Tom Akers. Within the facility is a machine capable of churning out 600 Renew hand soap pods every minute! The noteworthy efficiencies of Junk Free Skin’s technology have had a hand in earning them preferred co-packer status for an international water-soluble film company.

Opened in 2019 with long-term sustainability in mind, Junk Free Skin seeks to assist other small and medium businesses in making their eco-friendly products a reality. In describing the origins of Junk Free Skin, Akers has said, “When I started this, I quickly realized that the smaller people are not going to be allowed in this [sustainability] arena because [the other co-packers] have such high minimums – above 1 million per item.” 

At that rate, Akers weighed the financial factors and determined, “I could have just bought the machine, so what I did was I bought the machine and now I want to offer small and medium-sized companies the chance to compete and come into the arena with very low minimums.”

Junk Free Skin supports businesses every step of the way, from formula testing, production, branding, and distribution. A major Junk Free Skin focus as of late has been to work closely with large hotel amenity groups to ensure compliance with impending legislative changes. Beginning in 2024, it will be illegal for hotels within New York State to provide single-use plastic toiletries to their guests. Utilizing their water-soluble film solution, Junk Free Skin will be able to offer hotels unique alternatives to these cosmetic commodities, thus “changing hotel amenities” as we know it.

The combined efforts of Junk Free Skin and Renew Bath + Body are paving the way for fellow businesses to follow suit and are putting Buffalo on the map for state-of-the art sustainability actions.

Renew Bath + Body
927 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222 | 716-881-0177
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-4pm, Sun: Closed
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Junk Free Skin
Website | Instagram

The post A Renewed Promise to Skincare and the Environment: Renew Bath + Body’s Latest Product Line is State-of-the-Art appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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