There’s an empty storefront in the Brisbane Building at the corner of Lafayette and Washington, in the heart of Downtown Buffalo, that is setting an example for property owners all over the city. I’m not talking about only the vacant properties, I’m talking about all of the dark, foreboding storefronts found throughout the city – even on streets such as Elmwood, Allen, Grant, Amherst and Hertel.
The window display that I am talking about is not rocket science. Basically, it is lit up and is filled with super simple decorations. But the impact! Can you imagine if all of our dark storefronts were illuminated at night such as this one? Yes, pop-up shops would be even better, but you can’t expect ‘miracles’ overnight. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. And guess what? This lit-up and decorated storefront shows the potential of the building around the clock, not just during the day. In fact, I think that it packs a more powerful punch at night.
Building owners take note… this is a great way to attract potential tenants, while protecting the investments that fellow tenants have made in your building. If you’ve got tenants living upstairs, just think about the impact that this has on their lives, and the rest of the neighborhood. We need to start implementing some low lift, high impact, simple projects such as this, and not just during the holidays. Think of The Bellasario building (former LL Berger) on Main Street… talk about potential. How much does something like this cost (see photo)? How hard would it be to pull off on a larger scale? If you’re a building owner and you couldn’t be bothered to lease your storefronts, then at least make them appealing. It will ultimately cut down on crime, create more livable neighborhoods, and attract potential tenants. What’s the downside?