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Bringing Retail to Erie Canal Harbor

We’ve all seen the different plans for developing the Erie Canal Harbor neighborhood.  Bass Pro located directly on the Erie Canal terminus.  Bass Pro located where the Aud currently stands. Through it all, there is a healthy Buffalo skepticism that Canalside will ultimately find success.   

We all know that retail success in downtown has been sporadic.  But maybe there’s a different approach.  CoolTown Studios highlights a project in Hollywood, CA where developers have built a microcosm of a larger, more robust retail center.  This innovative area – called Space 15 Twenty – is comprised of 8 retail stores built around a common courtyard which plays host to local musical acts.  Interestingly, 7 of the 8 retail stores are swapped out periodically to make way for new stores while the other retailer serves as the anchor tenant (Urban Outfitters in the Space 15 Twenty example).  
As the ECHDC continues to contemplate how to build a vibrant neighborhood in the emerging Canalside area, they may want to look to Space 15 Twenty to learn some valuable lessons on how to start small and build energy.
Photo from Cooltownstudios.com


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