As I walk through the Medical Campus and take in all of the construction buzzing all around me, I begin to think about what’s been accomplished and what’s next. Something always comes right to mind as I look back, and it might not be what you’d expect. When I think about what has been accomplished on our Medical Campus, my thoughts go to something far more important, to our community rather than buildings: a change in perception.
There have been many articles recently from New York to Washington to Los Angeles about Buffalo’s ongoing renaissance. Those articles tend to focus on noteworthy physical developments that have taken place here — the cranes in the air, wind turbines churning, craft breweries and food trucks seemingly around every corner.
While those physical developments are remaking the look of our city, the true revolution is that more and more people are shunning the advice of “Buffaloathers” of past generations and choosing to make Buffalo their home. For instance, young college graduates have been rediscovering our city in the beginning of the new century in greater and greater numbers. Last fall the New York Times reported that from 2000 to 2012 there was a 34% change in the number of college graduates aged 25 to 34.
That said, I believe that the most prominent individuals who have chosen Buffalo are not millennials but Kim and Terry Pegula, and their decision is as large as any of the buildings I see rising up around the medical campus. They could have invested anywhere in the world but chose Buffalo, and it has helped transform the mentality of our city. We’ve gone from directing people to look for success outside of Buffalo to telling them, “Why would you want to leave Buffalo; you can succeed here!”
As the owner of Bills and the Sabres, the Pegulas have gotten rid of the attitude that just making the playoffs is something to be satisfied with — the goal is to win the Super Bowls and Stanley Cups. To that end, the Pegulas have outshined their rivals and attracted to the area world-class talent to play and coach for the Bills and Sabres.
Our community needs to follow in their footsteps and draw more of the best and the brightest to our area. Let’s attract more pre-eminent doctors, more first-rate researchers, more successful entrepreneurs and more leading businesses to our community.
Buffalo has always had the assets and infrastructure in place to become a vibrant city in which our people and businesses thrive. It is our turn now to make sure we have the people in place to utilize the buildings we are constructing to ensure our community is successful.
This has always been a focus for the BNMC, our vision is in fact “to attract the best and the brightest”. A combination of world-class facilities and a reinvigorated community that people want to be a part of will allow us to do just that
I am going to start to write more regularly on our MutualCity methodology that we believe is the model to help revitalize cities by leveraging the economic assets of anchors. In doing so I will also introduce you to our team members who are the ones leading the way with the implementation of MutualCity.