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The departure of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield from their downtown headquarters on Warren St. to the suburbs in 2008 was like a punch in the gut for our city. Many saw the loss of their 800 employees as the final nail in the coffin for Warren St.

Fast forward almost 10 years later and the successful mixed-use redevelopment of the former Excellus building, now known as Icon Tower, caps a remarkable turnaround for one downtown's most historic commercial corridors. Thanks to developer Grazi Zazzara Jr. and his team at Icon Companies, the building now boasts 89 apartments, two floors of office space, indoor parking, and the recently opened Fabio's Antica Cucina on the ground floor, where my wife and I enjoyed an awesome dinner last night.

I am proud of the role I played in making this project happen. During my time at the city I provided assistance throughout the predevelopment process, helped secure the necessary financial resources to make the project economically feasible, and worked closely with the development team to coordinate their construction with the recently completed Bank Alley project.

As Mayor, I will continue to promote mixed-use development to ensure we have vibrant, walkable neighborhood business districts throughout our city.