From Atlanta to Buffalo

Royce Woods
Vice President, Commercial Real Estate, Evans Bank

When Royce, a Pittsburgh native and previous resident of Hampton, VA and Atlanta, started visiting Buffalo in 2011 on trips to see family, he saw opportunity. On each subsequent, visit he saw more development and more energy in the city. When he decided to make the move to Buffalo in 2016, he knew he could help be a part of the resurgence.

He started working in City of Buffalo’s Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning, under Mayor Byron Brown. Then he was tapped to help foster minority and women entrepreneurship on Buffalo’s East Side. And now, he's on the banking side spurring further development.

"Local leaders have done an incredible job mentoring and fostering the next generation of young professionals," Royce said. "You can have such a huge impact here."

What makes Buffalo different?

When I lived in Atlanta, I was spending four hours a day in the car. That’s time for my workout in the morning and playing with my boy in the evening. The quality of life is so much better here.

In the winter, we’re at the Science Museum or Explore and More Children’s Museum. Through spring and summer, we’re always at farmers’ markets, concerts, or festivals. In the fall my son loves apple picking or the maple syrup farms. There’s just always something to do.

Why do you love living in the city?

My ideal neighborhood has a park for my son Noah and a commercial district for myself. Elmwood Village has both—an Olmsted masterpiece in Delaware Park and a robust commercial district where I can walk around, grab brunch and a coffee or dinner and a beer.

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