As the joke goes, we only have Winter and Construction season here in Buffalo. Roads, buildings, parks – something is always going up, coming down or being put back together. As far as economic development is concerned, any* development in Buffalo is progress. Whether you’re for or against the numerous projects perpetually & chronically in the works around here – one thing is for certain; the industry creates value for the area, and also accounts for a lot of jobs.
One quiet, but noteworthy player new to the market is Clark Patterson Lee. Two-handfuls of its 200+ national employees work in a newly refurbished (Savarino) building in the Cobblestone district. An offshoot of the Rochester office, Clark Patterson Lee has been downtown Buffalo now for just over a year, and it’s poised to grow. The company positions itself as a ‘full-service design firm’ distinguished from others as a one-stop-shop housing trained professionals in municipal planning, interior design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering.
Upon a conversation with Clark Patterson Lee’s newly appointed Principal Dave Hart, I learned that this UB (Class of ’90) mechanical engineering graduate is happy to be back in the Buffalo office, having worked at the Rochester office the past few years. Hart is enthusiastic about the Buffalo office’s growth, stating, “we hope to develop and expand our client base of transportation and architecture projects by working with community leaders…” Hart also credits Clark Patterson Lee’s 80-85% ‘repeat client’ base with its commitment to having a strong local presence. He is also proud of hiring practices that allow the firm to retain high-caliber and committed individuals.
Clark Patterson Lee is currently set to begin construction on the expansion to the Niagara Hospice facility toward the end of the year. It has also recently completed the replacement of the pedestrian bridge over the 33, near the 198 interchange, and a bridge replacement on Parkview Drive.
Author's note: For the sake of curbing the looming roiling and boiling-over of “development” fueled arguments, let’s just work under the VERY broad assumption that fixing broken things and making them new & shiny, is a good thing – regardless of the individual, specific situation. (But, I will editorialize and say that green things and historic things should be maintained, not re-done.)
Photo: CPL offices in the Savarino Building.