Uniland Development Company Vice President, Michael Montante, sat down with ULI NY for the next installment of ‘Five Minutes With’. He talks about the family owned business and what it means to have their project – the Delaware North Building in Buffalo – nominated as an Awards finalist.
Who was the most influential person who left a mark on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?
I must say it’s my father. Uniland is a family owned business and my father is very much involved. It is an honor to work with him side by side. He does give advice, most of the time directly, some of the time indirectly, but I gotta say the best advice that he has given me is to break things down into its smaller parts. When you are faced with a very complicated task or complicated project, by breaking things down into smaller part and understanding what is creating the issue, you can better analyze, assess ad move forward in a clear direction. That is the best advice that my father has given and I use that every day.
What is your favorite building in New York that isn’t one of yours and why?
There are a lot of building in New York State that I admire but I gotta say one of the buildings I most admire is Buffalo City hall. Buffalo City hall is a representation of Buffalo and our work ethic. It represents from how Buffalo started as a trading post to a major industrial place of commerce. It stood there when Buffalo was having tough times and it’s there today. It’s seen as a part of Buffalo renaissance and it stands bright and strong today and that’s how we are in Buffalo.
What makes you proudest of your ULI NY Awards finalist?
What makes me proud of the Delaware North Building being a ULI NY finalist, well first I have to say that I am very proud of all the people that were involved in making the project a success. But what really makes me proud is that the Delaware North Building is being recognized as a transformative project. We started with a contaminated site and an old dilapidated building and what we have built is something spectacular where hundreds of people work every day and hundreds of people come each week and millions dollars worth of investment. That has really had a major impact, a positive impact, on the neighborhood and the city of Buffalo.