What would a community comeback be without the urban pioneers willing to stake their claims in the form of residential investment? After the grassroots efforts involving community clean-ups, tree plantings and historic tours, come the small success stories that are worth their weight in gold. These are the believers who are picking up properties at ridiculously low prices, then picking up tools and restoring the prized beauties. Why? Because it’s always the initial investors who land the best properties – the same people who, years from now, will say, “You’ll never believe how much I stole this place for.” Who are these adventurous souls? What is the reasoning behind the purchase? Each person has a different story… a different background… but they are unified in an effort to protect their investments.
Chip Campbell (lead image) came to Buffalo from Long Island to attend college. He ended up purchasing Hook and Ladder #11, an absolutely stunning firehouse within eyesight of The Broadway Market. When I asked him why he would want to live in the neighborhood, he told me that that’s where a lot of his friends live. Then there’s Bob Sienkiewicz who bought the Polish Savings and Loan building, saving it from the wrecking ball. Would you believe that a University at Buffalo professor purchased the little brick house seen below and has been steadily restoring it? Once again, without her investment it would already be gone. These are actually major success stories that go a long way towards attracting more investors into the neighborhood. The folks mentioned here are daily supporters of the Broadway Market. They are also the people who are helping to clear abandoned lots in order to plant regeneration areas… yes, there is a green movement taking place in the neighborhood, and that will be discussed in Part 3 of this series.
See Part 1 of the series.