Developer killed in mystery plane crash steered Rochester, New York, from industrial doldrums

Associated Press

Friends say a developer presumed dead with his wife in a mysterious plane crash near Jamaica had an "incalculable" impact on revitalizing his western New York hometown.

Laurence Glazer bought up dozens of Rochester properties, including landmark buildings belonging to Xerox Corp. and Bausch + Lomb. He converted abandoned factories into loft apartments and turned a shuttered hospital into offices.

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The president of Rochester's Downtown Development Corp. says the 68-year-old Glazer was ahead of his time transforming the city from a crumbling industrial center.

Glazer and wife Jane were on a single-engine plane that flew on its own for 1,700 miles Friday before running out of fuel and slamming into the sea off Jamaica.

Rescue crews say they can no longer see debris from the crash and believe it sank.