Tonawanda News — Tanbakuchi began the furniture store with a loan from the Lumber City Development Corporation, which has stood as a leading impetus for much of the growth in the city’s business sector in recent years. It has brought in millions in grants through North Tonawanda Community Development and given out significant amounts in the form of low interest loans to more than two dozen businesses.
”That’s exactly what we hoped would have happened,” said Michael Zimmerman, planning and development coordinator for the LCDC. “We gave him a good loan to get his business up and running and fix that building up. Now he’s been successful and advanced another step. He’s an entrepreneur and was able to spin that into the next project. That’s the kind of success story we’d like to have and the type of investor we’d like to have more of.”
Meanwhile, with half of his 25,000 square-foot building made up of warehouse space, Tanbakuchi said he may consider one day converting it to fit in with the boutique shops and urban-style businesses slowly taking root downtown. He’s also adding European-style furniture that may better fall in line with the condo culture that is springing up in the nearby Remington Lofts.
”We are committed to this area,” he said. “And we want to be around to help influence it change.”Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.