Letter to the editor by M. Schifano:
The proposed apartment complex on the site (unless I missed something) of the old and long neglected Erie Freight House is a great idea. Population density is what is missing from that part of town. To be sure, there are already people living in the area, but a fresh project that would attract more people with the means to support all of the other businesses that make a neighborhood successful is a good idea.
Toronto seems to have a dense and diverse — both in terms of ethnicity and income — population around the St. Lawrence market. If Buffalo could succeed in growing the population between the Larkin district and the arena, we might see some real progress rather than having to look at the derelict hulk that was once the Erie Freight House.
The comparison to Shea’s by one of your readers almost made me cry. It seems as though nobody complained about the Erie Freight House until they were told it would be razed. There are other structures that are indeed underutilized and not eyesores that deserve some serious consideration.
The DL&W terminal could house a food themed marketplace that might become what the Broadway market was when we were young. Some of your readers should take a trip up to Toronto and see the St. Lawrence Market. The DL&W terminal could be the place where many of the residents shop, grab a snack on their way to a game, or a walk down to the waterfront. If done right, the terminal could become a regional attraction.
If the Larkin district continues to grow, it would take on added significance as a shopping destination for the growing number of people who might move into new housing units if they can be built. If the apartment complex on the waterfront could become a catalyst for more such projects in the future. Lights from homes of living people shimmering off the waters of the Buffalo river, rather than a lifeless old steel clad derelict hulk that sits silently crumbling in on itself would seem like progress anywhere else. Am I missing something?