North Buffalo neighborhood could be next big growth area
Several development projects are either underway or in the planning stages in an often forgotten North Buffalo neighborhood, but one Common Council Member said he believes it could be the next big growth area in the city.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Some projects are in the works near the corner of Elmwood and Hertel Avenue, like plans to renovate the FWS Furniture building into businesses and apartments.
"As parts of the city of Buffalo become more and more expensive to live in, an area like this becomes more and more attractive," Buffalo Common Council Member Joe Golombek said.
Other projects are nearly finished, like the newly constructed L.A. Fitness building.
"I always figured you would see these two streets meet, the development meet at this intersection and I think this is that step toward it happening," Golombek said.
AMVETS Thrift Store is one of the businesses already in the district.
"I kind of think of it like a thoroughfare, meaning it's like in the middle of everything. So people who are going to Wegmans, they're zipping down here or if you're going up to Target you've got to go up this street," Store Manager Gabriel Traina said.
The manager said he likes the idea of new stores and living space in the neighborhood.
"I don't think it could hurt," Traina said. "I mean more development means more business in the area and more jobs for people. So I don't think it's a bad thing."
Golombek said, for years, people have told him they'd like to see a large department store at the corner too. He said no company has approached the city though.
"You know, it's like me saying I want such and such a business to come in and saying I want it to rain beer too and it doesn't," Golombek said.
Golombek said he's not necessarily against a big box store going in on the strip. He said he'd want the city to have a lot of input into how that building would look and how it was built.
"The suburbs are fine for suburbia," he said. "But the city should be an urban center and that's what I want this to look like here. I want it be a more walkable neighborhood and I want it to be a place where people feel comfortable walking and not having to drive to everyplace."
He said he hopes this is the beginning of a renewed focus on the city's neighborhoods.