Seeing any initiative in Buffalo move toward implementation is always encouraging. And that’s especially so for a Brownfield Opportunity Area. New York’s BOA program for aiding the recovery and revitalization of old industrial sites and districts is notorious for how long it can take to go through the three steps (phases), from nomination to implementation. But at the end of the process a BOA community has, often for the first time, a solid picture of environmental issues, land use, suitability of properties for new purposes, plans for renewal, and, through enhanced brownfield tax credits, a funding mechanism to help get things moving.
In the South Buffalo BOA, Hopkins Street is a key area that has been targeted for a more detailed implementation plan. The City of Buffalo and a consulting team led by Architectural Resources discussed ideas with the community earlier this year, and tonight some exciting preliminary concepts will be presented for feedback and refinement. I say exciting, as they will be focused on the connectivity possibilities of the Hopkins Street area, which I have always thought is one of its greatest strengths. Hopkins Street begins in the Triangle Neighborhood, South Buffalo’s gateway neighborhood, and extends south all the way to South Park. From north to south, it links up mixed-use residential areas with industrial businesses that sprouted up along the major South Buffalo railroad corridor. And from east to west, Hopkins Street could link solid residential neighborhoods with new recreational opportunities, trails, and open space.
Bolstering Hopkins Street would mean a sense of renewal for the entire western edge of South Buffalo, and The Triangle Neighborhood — South Buffalo’s gateway neighborhood. You can get involved, and weigh in, by checking out the presentation tonight, and also through the impressive variety of online and social media set up by the consulting team planning the Step 3 (implementation) of the South Buffalo BOA: A|r – Architecture & Planning, in collaboration with Fisher Associates and Biohabitats.