It's been a while since we've seen a downtown tour of urban loft units. While we always hear of the latest and greatest loft living scenarios, every once in a while we need to see, first hand, how the city is shaping up. Each year more units are added, and each year the interest grows. What is so interesting about downtown loft tours is that many times the people attending the tours do so in order to get a glimpse of the progress, and then realize that spaces are even better than they imagined. Thanks to Citybration (former Old Home Week), there are tours being given of places that we normally only get to see from the outside.
This year, two heavy hitters round out the tour - Hotel Lafayette and Statler City. Not only will residential tours be part of the showcase, there will be plenty of amenities to check out along the way, such as the Pan American Grill and Brewery and Lobby Bar. It's all about getting the word out that downtown is heading in the right direction, and as more businesses open, more people want to live there. Or is it the more people want to live there, the more businesses open up? Either way, here are all of the details that you need to know to get started on your next downtown tour adventure...
Saturday, June 23rd
The event, "Buffalo LIVING Tour ... Condos, Lofts,
& Suites", will feature luxury condominiums, loft apartments, and
townhouses not usually open for public viewing.
A special tour of two Buffalo iconic hotels will also be included. It is free, open to the public and will run
The focus is on unique, with each of the properties
that are shown a re-use of a heritage structure. The Brownstone, for example, is a former
three-story warehouse that the owners rehabbed from floor to ceiling, bringing
the exterior back to its original form while installing modern infrastructure
of new HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work.
The Brownstone boasts 15-foot high ceilings, original brick interior
walls, and hundred-year- old hardwood flooring painstakingly restored to its
earlier luster. Three large townhouses were
created out of the space, each getting their own garages on the main
level. The Washington Street residence
is just a stone's throw from the iconic Electric Tower.
Other living spaces on The Tour include...
Signature Development's newly-opened Lafayette Hotel - The Lafayette will be featuring a freshly-renewed
tap room, now called the Pan American
Grill & Brewery.
The iconic Statler Hotel (Buffalo Development Company),
now dubbed Statler City, including
The Lobby Bar.
14 North (Ellicott Development Company), the former First
Baptist Church, an upscale collection of 11 just-completed apartments, all
unique in character with stained glass windows and tall decorative ceilings.
257 Lafayette Center - Lofts,
offices, & daycare - a former school converted to an amazing multi-use
facility. An award-winning LEED
certified, first in green designed masterpiece of re-use.
Tour participants will self-guide their route with
a free map they can pick up starting June 18 at various downtown locations,
including Allentown Trading Company, Downtown Trading Company, The Chop House,
D'Arcy McGee's, The Statler Lobby Bar, Charlie the Butcher inside The Ellicott
Square Building, and at various Citybration events. The map can also be found and downloaded online
The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo &
WNY, Inc., a sponsor, is recommending the entire tour be accomplished
on-foot. "The route is very historic, so
we feel the best way to view it is by walking to each Tour Stop. This is also a great way to get a good walk
in. It's 3.5 miles to do the round trip,
so it's very do-able," explains Philip L. Haberstro, Executive Director of the
Institute, "we figured it out, this entire walk will burn 340 calories and it
will only take 84 minutes total, not to mention the gas savings and emissions
that are kept out of our air."
For those who prefer hopping a ride to each stop, a
special Trolley will go to all five locations from 11am - 4pm and terminate at
the two happy hours, one at Pan American Grill & Brewery (inside the Hotel
@ Lafayette), the other at The Statler City Lobby Bar starting at 4pm. The special Happy Hours will go until 6pm at
both locations on Saturday.
An INFO Center for Buffalo LIVING Tour will be
staffed from 11am-4pm on Saturday with volunteers from the Buffalo Niagara
Association of Realtors (BNAR), who will also hand out Tour pamphlets, answer
questions, and give out flyers on additional open houses that occur this
weekend. The INFO Center is located within
257 Lafayette Center, Lafayette Avenue between Parkdale and Greenwood Place
Buffalo LIVING Tour is a first-ever event and is
sponsored by Nationwide Insurance/Getzoni Agency, Greater Buffalo Building
Owners & Managers Association (Greater Buffalo BOMA), The Wellness
Institute of Greater Buffalo & WNY, and Entercom Radio's WBEN 930/107.7 FM
and Star 102.5. Visit www.buffalolivingtour.com for pictures
of the living spaces, information, and a map that can be downloaded and printed for the
tour. Buffalo Citybration
runs from June 21-24th and is featuring many events that are
all open to the public the same weekend.