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Then and Now: Small Steps Add Up

The signs of new investment in the city are becoming more and more numerous.  Although the big projects like The Hotel @ The Lafayette get most of the press, there are many many projects adding up to positive change in long forgotten parts of the city.  Neighborhoods once written off are now showing signs of new life that are becoming undeniable.  One such neighborhood quickly improving is the area of West Allentown / Kleinhans / Fargo.  This compact cluster of streets on the lower west side is poised to become one of the city’s premier neighborhoods. After a long period of decline and disinvestment, the West Allentown area is seeing a noticeable influx of new money. The Elmwood and Allentown neighborhoods have become substantially less affordable over the last decade, causing people to start looking for unique and historic urban property in the Allen / Fargo area.
The neighborhood has a long way to go to reclaim its former glory but these two houses, shown here before and after recent improvements, show the kind of new investment which has become commonplace.  These are not spectacular changes – new paint, new roof, removal of dull 1940s siding – small steps that make for big changes.  Improvements like these make the next investor more comfortable and the next project more likely.  Before you know it, whole streets have been brought back from the brink.  In many ways this neighborhood is more interesting than Elmwood and those who get in early will reap great rewards in the near future.  The short blocks with a complex weave of street grids with very old densely built historic architecture create a compelling urban environment.  Add in nearby Allen Street and massive new investment scheduled for the Medical Campus, just a 15 minute walk away, and you have all you need for a highly desirable address. 
I have another example of this kind of new city investment  in this neighborhood in the works which will really impress.  Stay tuned.
Photos Google and Mike Puma – Click to enlarge

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Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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