Buffalo, N.Y. - About the only thing missing amidst the desolation of the 500 block of Main Street in Buffalo are the tumbleweeds, and it's been like this for years and years thanks to the decision to ban cars from Main Street once the rapid transit was built.
How bad are things on this block of Main? Well the city has actually lost conventions because there's nothing to do on Main Street.
Now though the city, thanks in large part to a $15 million federal grant, will be going back to the future, with construction starting Tuesday on the 500 block to return cars there by the end of next year.
Scott Brown: "Have you had developers express interest in the 500 block because of this project?"
Mayor Byron Brown: "We are seeing interest in the 500 block because of this project because businesses are aware that Main Street is going to open up."
Work on the 500 block follows the re-opening of the 700 block to cars, which brought along with it new shops, new residents and a new vibrancy.
Work on the 600 block, where the Shea's is, is supposed to be completed by next spring.
Senator Chuck Schumer: "With the completion of this project businesses and restaurants will be clamoring to open up shop and we'll be seeing once again the 'open for business' sign along Main Street."
Back on the 500 block, the Hyatt Hotel is one of the few businesses that's survived over the years.
Scott Brown: "How important do you think it is (re-opening) to this block?"
Jay Dellavecchia, Hyatt General Manager: "It's one of the most important developments that the city can do. We have to get Main Street back to where it was one day in the past. You have to get this to be a main artery for living, shopping, for things to do, it's vitally important."