Buffalo in the 90s: Downtown’s future in question as Bon-Ton closes

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Only months after AM&A’s sold its operations to Bon-Ton,  Bon-Ton announced the closure of the Main Street downtown location which had been hemorrhaging money for quite some time.

More than 300 jobs were lost with the closure of the store as well as the warehouse behind the store across Washington Street.

The loss of the downtown anchor and landmark 20 ago this month served as a wakeup call to many, that downtown was still far from a full, healthy recovery.

City must keep encouraging a downtown neighborhood

Housing will not appear downtown just because experts say it should. The old chicken-and-egg issue is part of the picture. Downtown would be more attractive if there were more people on the street to create a feeling of security. Downtown would be more attractive if there were more service outlets such as good convenience food stores, convenient dry cleaners and other small service shops. But those things aren’t likely to appear until more people live downtown.

Published by

Avatar

Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.