Larkinville is getting some good press in The Atlantic Cities, with a piece that highlights the recent successes of the district, along with the constant struggle to maintain people when the business district is not in 9-5 operational swing. Of course Larkinville has done a bang up job when it comes to reawakening the imagination of Buffalonians, and developers and activists are looking to the district as a place that has raised the development bar for what is possible in the city.
At the same time, it’s only natural (at this stage in the game) that Larkinville has its share of down time. Until more residential units are built and occupied, and a few more businesses (including restaurants) open, the weekends and off-hours might not be so busy. Hence the reliance on car culture, which the district will continue rely on until progressive public transportation and/or a significant number of residential units come into play. But you can’t fault Larkinville for not doing its part to combat the issue… successful events and programming have certainly helped to retain office workers past normal business hours, and more and more people are discovering the dynamic nature of the grounds throughout the year.
From The Atlantic Cities article:
Still, the symbolism of a growing company moving from a semi-rural office park to an inner city revitalization effort is palpable. “Interacting with my fellow executives around town, there’s a bit of envy on their part,” Koelmel says [John Koelmel, President and CEO of First Niagara].
Zemsky says that’s true of developers as well. “It changed the paradigm that you had to have a building 50 percent pre-leased,” he says. Larkinville “opened peoples’ eyes up to appreciate historic buildings, to the idea of being in the city and to being a part of something aspirational,” he says. “It’s become a metaphor for the city in general.”