BUFFALO, N.Y. — Empty offices. Empty restaurants. Empty parking ramps. Empty downtown.
“I’ve never seen downtown Buffalo so empty in all the years I’ve been here,” said Mike Schmand, executive director of Buffalo Place, who has worked for the organization since 1982.
The numbers are bleak. Schmand estimates one-third of the downtown workforce is working remotely. Metro Rail trips have declined by 35 percent. Revenue at city parking facilities has dropped 39 percent over the final six months of 2020 and is expected to remain below pre-COVID levels through at least the first half of this year.