Third-generation developer uses own relationship building as inspiration for new venture
Carl J. Montante III’s official job title is founder and CEO of Terzo Development, but he also considers himself working full-time in networking.
Montante, 28, the youngest of the family’s three generations of developers, believes in the importance of relationship building. He finds himself doing it constantly, whether he’s at work, on the golf course or at a coffee shop, bar or restaurant.
Since he moved back to Buffalo from Colorado two years ago, he’s spent a great deal of time cultivating connections, and it’s only elevated his personal abilities and those of his business, Montante said.
He believes networking is a skill that is often overlooked but nonetheless critical in building a better career and fulfilling life.
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“Without those skills to cultivate connections and relationships, it becomes increasingly difficult to succeed,” he said. “You’re constantly building relationships, whether you know it or not, so understanding that is so important.”
Montante is trying to help others understand that through his new business – the Art of Successful Networking. He co-founded the business with his friend Evan Giokas, the founder and CEO of The College Confidence Coach. They met six years ago in Cincinnati when Montante was working in real estate.
What started at first as a way to help college students entering the workplace has morphed into a service provided for the corporate world.
“Often times, you’re told that you should network but rarely are you taught how to network,” he said. “It’s difficult to do if you’re not armed with the proper tools.”
Montante said he aims to help individuals feel comfortable and confident building relationships by homing in on a person’s instinctive abilities and reactions to tasks and responsibilities.
“It’s been awesome starting this business, not only with a good buddy of mine, but also seeing the results that our students and customers are finding, be it in getting promotions, finding new jobs or building new business, whatever the case may be. Even if it’s just building stronger relationships.”
That has become even more important in today’s workplace environment where remote work is here to stay and networking has taken a back seat due to the pandemic. This generation of young adults coming into the workplace also is one of the first that grew up doing much of its communicating via text, email and social media.
Montante said businesses are taking notice of the importance of networking and making more of an effort to develop these skills in employees, which is especially important in helping retain talent during the great resignation.
“Businesses are investing in their employees and in turn, are hoping employees stick with them,” Montante said. “I think companies are realizing it is important to constantly build the skills necessary for today’s day and age.”
Bull+Buffalo to open in Hyatt Regency
The Hyatt Regency Buffalo reopened nearly a year ago under the ownership of developer Douglas Jemal, after an 18-month closure of the city’s flagship downtown convention hotel. Soon, it will have a new restaurant to replace what’s traditionally been a top-quality steakhouse at the property.
Restaurateur Chris Harter will bring Bull+Buffalo into the space formerly occupied by Morton’s Steakhouse, which shut down early in 2020, and for years before that, E.B. Green’s Steakhouse, named for the architect who designed the hotel. The restaurant is expected to open in July, though hotel officials said it is still under construction and an opening date has not been determined yet. Harter moves over from running Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group.
The 9,000-square-foot restaurant will seat 250 when renovations are complete to add a new atrium and outdoor patio.
Jemal’s company won the foreclosure auction in September for the landmark property with a $15 million bid, although it was largely on paper since he was the one holding the debt of more than $24 million.
Macy’s adds Backstage to store at Boulevard Mall
Macy’s Backstage will open Saturday within the Macy’s store at the Boulevard Mall.
The new location will include more than 12,900 square feet of retail space on the second floor of the Macy’s in the mall on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Macy’s has expanded this business model, offering “value” off-price items, to more than 300 of its stores.
Tops completes Dunkirk store renovation
Tops Markets completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its Dunkirk location earlier this month. The renovation at 3955 Vineyard Dr. is the 23rd location recently updated by Tops.
The 65,000-square-foot store now offers enhanced services, an expanded assortment of products, and an enlarged perimeter with an updated décor, according to the supermarket chain. There’s also new decorative awnings, landscaping, energy efficient equipment and LED lighting both inside and out, solar powered efficiencies, new flooring, expanded self-checkouts, renovated restrooms and new interior décor.
Want to know more? Two stories to catch you up:
• With hard times behind, Tops Markets ready for ‘transformational turnaround’
• Montante grandson seeks tax breaks for Lower West Side apartments
• Jemal completes purchase of Hyatt Regency
Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to health care to startups. Read more at BuffaloNext.com.
Catch up on the latest news from Buffalo Next:
Shea’s has revived a $26 million plan from a few years ago for a five-story addition with new elevators, concessions, bathrooms and lobby. The project will be in front of the Buffalo Preservation Board on Thursday.
SUNY Erie Community College’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution Thursday supporting the elimination of 90 positions at the financially troubled college. The jobs are mostly part-time clerical and maintenance positions at the college.
Workers at 12 for-profit WNY nursing homes have authorized one-day strikes. A major issue revolves around low wages for service workers, such as dietary aides and housekeepers, who can start at the regional minimum wage of $13.20 an hour.
Buffalo Place, the nonprofit business improvement district for downtown Buffalo, has won another $300,000 state grant to support revitalization of buildings and facades on Main Street.
Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino has a vision to create a $150 million “gateway” park downtown, with an ice rink, indoor arena and outdoor amphitheater, but the 12 acres of land he’s eyeing for the proposed Centennial Park is owned by Howard Milstein’s Niagara Falls Redevelopment, and his firm isn’t interested in selling it.
Chinnici’s Legacy Development is proposing to construct a pair of large new apartment buildings on a 6.1-acre site on McKesson Parkway, off Union Road, in Cheektowaga.
Kaleida Health and two major unions have agreed to a second extension of their existing contract, which was set to expire May 31 before the two sides extended it until June 30, as they try to iron out a new collective bargaining agreement.
The push to redevelop the LaSalle Metro Rail station and surrounding acreage is generating more interest than any previous real estate bid by the city, as 10 developers or groups submitted responses to the city’s “request for qualifications” in early May.
A request by the developers of Elmwood Crossing to amend the original planned-unit development regulation that governs the zoning for the $150 million project is being met with heightened scrutiny and concern from neighborhood residents.
A new Dollar General store is coming to the Larkinville area on vacant land at E. Eagle Street, after the Buffalo Planning Board gave a green light last week to plans by developer Broadway Group for a new discount retail location.
Young Development has a pair of apartment projects underway in Cheektowaga that will add 430 units as part of the construction of the $15 million Town Center Apartments and $75 million Midtown Apartments.
Buffalo Next reporters Jonathan D. Epstein, Jon Harris, Natalie Brophy, Matt Glynn, Janet Gramza and Mike Petro contributed to this roundup.
Five reads from Buffalo Next:
1. Retailers and new entrepreneurs making the move toward the sale of recreational marijuana are in limbo: They’re awaiting regulations from the state and preparing for the application process expected to begin sometime this summer, all the while, having to compete with the black and gray markets.
2. You might be familiar with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as a popular stain removal product. But did you know it is made in the Buffalo Niagara region, in a new plant on the former Bethlehem Steel site?
3. New apartments are popping up across Western New York: From the Elmwood Village and Allentown to South Buffalo and the West Side, from Tonawanda and Amherst to Orchard Park and Hamburg, developers are putting up new apartment buildings or converting old industrial warehouses and offices.
4. At 41, Steve K. Stoute is the youngest and the first person of color to lead Canisius College in its 150-year history. He said his first focus will be on growing enrollment, including more students of color, first-generation college students and new Americans.
5. How community developers can build up neighborhoods: With the support of SAA-EVI, and investments from two national nonprofits, passionate locals are seeking to transform neighborhoods from the bottom up – by starting small, but dreaming big.
The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips from the restaurant and retail industries to [email protected] or reach reporter Michael Petro at [email protected].
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