FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2004
Schumer: GSA Promises To Keep Dulski Building Workers In Buffalo's Downtown Core
With 1,200 federal employees who worked at downtown Dulski Federal Building being relocated, GSA previously intended to expand its search area to other parts of Buffalo outside of downtown
In April Schumer pressed GSA to keep its federal employees downtown to keep the city's core stable and spur the city's economic revival; GSA subsequently assured Schumer's staff that it will confine i
US Senator Charles Schumer today said that the General Services Administration (GSA) has assured him that it will keep Buffalo's 1,200 federal employees in the city's downtown core. GSA had previously intended to expand its search area for a new Buffalo location to outside of downtown for employees being relocated from the Dulski Federal Building. Schumer said that keeping the jobs in downtown is vital for building the area into a thriving economic center for growth.
"Downtown Buffalo needs a critical mass of people on a day-to-day basis to keep it a lively hub of activity," Schumer said. "That's what will attract people from outside the city limits to come downtown to live, work, and take advantage of the first-rate arts and entertainment downtown has to offer. The federal government made a commitment to play a positive role in the effort to revitalize downtown Buffalo and I'm glad that GSA is holding to that commitment."
Many of the federal offices currently located in the Dulski Building, including Schumer's Western New York Regional office, are being moved to new or existing private office space downtown. Among the locations being offered to the federal agencies are new office buildings on Court Street and Niagara Street, as well as existing space in buildings such as the Key Center. However, although GSA committed to keeping the jobs in downtown in January, 2003, the agency revealed in April that it was expanding its search for a new location to outside of downtown.
In response, Schumer and his staff contacted GSA repeatedly to insist that the agency hold to its commitment to keep the jobs in the city's downtown core. While he praised GSA's efforts to find suitable private office space for the federal agencies that currently occupy the Dulski Building, such as Customs and the IRS, Schumer said that downtown Buffalo could not afford to lose any of its current workforce, especially when such a loss was avoidable.
To hold GSA to its commitment, Schumer pressed General Services Administrator Stephen Perry to keep the employees in a downtown location. "As you know, federal policy regarding the siting of government offices requires the GSA and the agencies it represents to give preference to downtown office locations," Schumer wrote in a letter to Perry. "With a workforce already firmly established in downtown Buffalo, I see no reason for GSA not to stick to its commitment and keep those jobs there."
In response to Schumer's lobbying, GSA told Schumer's office that it will keep its search confined to the central business district in downtown Buffalo with the exception of the Larkin and Exchange building, which, while technically not included in the central business district, is a part of the city's downtown core. The building, which was redeveloped by Howard Zemsky, is currently the site of law firms and other businesses.