185 Allen Street has been empty ever since Drool moved out? It was back in 2006 that there was a glimmer of hope that the building would become a restaurant featuring what may be the greatest courtyard in the city. Since that time, nada! Drool moved out of that building... when was it... around '95? That's a long time to sit vacant. Rumor has it that the owner of the building lives up in Canada and uses the upper apartment as a crash pad when he comes to Buffalo. What a great neighbor!
That same year Sweet Tooth moved to the corner of Elmwood and Allen, leaving a prime space vacant at 478 Elmwood. The only thing that we've seen at that storefront since that time has been a lame attempt by the owner of the building to use it for his own personal yard sale. What possesses these building owners to keep their storefronts vacant? Do they write off the losses at the end of the year? Is he making enough from the residential units above that he doesn't bother with the headache of a commercial lease? Is he holding out for a chain store with deep pockets? Most importantly, how can we put pressure on these building owners to do the right thing for the residential and commercial neighborhood?
If you have tried leasing either one of these commercial spaces, can you please leave a comment as to what your dealings have been like with these property owners? We can hypothesize all we want, but in order to truly understand what we are dealing with, it would be good to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge regarding why the owners are content with owning vacant storefronts. Do they live in Buffalo? How would they feel if a commercial property owner in their neighborhood began to take their listings off the market altogether? If you're fed up with this too, why not call the numbers listed on the buildings and demand that an effort be stepped up to lease the spaces. Or call and ask what the rent is and the terms. If they are unreasonable (I'm sure that they are), then what can we do as a community to put pressure on the owners?
478 Elmwood Avenue 716-881-2144
185 Allen Street 716-886-DEAL