It was only back in December when I came across a bunch of West Side activists going to town on the storefront adjoining Urban Roots (see back story). The gang had ripped away the facade of the space and was preparing to install new glass display windows. This morning I got a shout from Blair Woods who informed me that the windows were in and would I like to stop by to see the results. Later in the day Harvey Garrett sent me an email saying, “The transformation of this building and this neighborhood has been impressive. In the coming months we’ll be removing the vinyl siding and completing the exterior restoration. The new storefront will be a tremendous asset to the 5 corners – we are looking forward a great new spring season at the garden center and a great new summer in the neighborhood.”
On my way back from Grant Street, I swung past the the future home of the second Dolci operation on Rhode Island and could not believe the transformation. True to their words, the glass was installed and the change in appearance was dramatic. “I believe this commercial space just might offer the most sunlight of any commercial space in Buffalo,” Blair Woods told me. “That wall of windows combined with the south exposure and no obstruction whatsoever from neighboring buildings is pretty spectacular.” It’s truly inspirational if you look back at the days when Queen Sheba was in residence (as seen in the above link). Now the Dolci storefront will play off of the Urban Roots success story and the neighborhood will be able to chalk up another win in true West Side spirit.
In coming day I’ll be pointing out another potential West Side corner market comeback. Let’s hope that these heartfelt conversions act as inspiration for more urban activist entrepreneurs.