Wegmans is looking to construct a stand-alone building in front of its Amherst Street store. The 15,000 sq.ft. single-story building is expected to house a "high-end wine retailer." Preliminary plans were shown at a Black Rock-Riverside Good Neighbor Planning Alliance meeting last night.
Wegmans site development manager Dan Aken says the supermarket is hoping that a high-end wine retailer will become a tenant in the new building.
The grocery chain used this model in Rochester to allow Century Liquors to have a location near their store. Wegmans cannot sell liquor, per New York State law.
Many of those at the meeting had no problem with a new liquor store, but some thought the design looked too suburban.
Grant-Amherst Business Association President Mark Kubiniec said, "Well it could be a good proposal for the neighborhood. We'd like to see a true urban building with two stories, mixed use, like would be required under the city's new Green Code."
"We don't want to emulate Sheridan Drive. Sheridan Drive is great for the suburbs, but it's not great for Amherst Street," said Buffalo Common Council member Joseph Golombek.
Company officials are scheduled to outline their plans to the City Planning Board on February 26th. Work on the new building could start this fall. In October, the City approved a 1,625 sq.ft. addition to the supermarket's Market Café. That expansion is expected to start in March.