Aldi is proposing to demolish the vacant Kmart store at 998 Broadway across from the Broadway Market to construct a new store. The new construction at what may be Buffalo's most famous retail address is raising questions on the impact on the Market where Save-A-Lot, an Aldi-like discount grocer, is the anchor tenant.
The vacant 90,000 sq.ft. Kmart building has been vacant since 2002. A Sattler's store on the site was torn down in the late-1980s. A proposal to use the vacant structure as an alternative school and later a church went nowhere.
Buffalo Business First's James Fink has the Aldi details:
"I am concerned about whether it will help or hurt the Broadway Market," said Fillmore District Councilman David Franczyk, who is also Buffalo Common Council president. "My first impression is that it could hurt the market."
Franczyk has met with Aldi officials about the project in recent weeks.
Save-A-Lot is the largest rent-payer in the Broadway Market, which itself operates on a razor-thin budget. Besides its historic status, the Broadway Market is the community hub for the economically-challenged Broadway-Fillmore district.
"This is not a suburban strip mall situation where there is enough customer traffic for everyone," Franczyk said. "I don't know if there is enough business to sustain both and if Save-A-Lot closes because of the Aldi store and the (Broadway) market closes because of that, what have we gained? Nothing."
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