Adaptive reuse of Buffalo’s historic building stock shows no signs of letting up as the Buffalo Planning Board reviewed plans for four projects at its meeting Tuesday morning. Ellicott Development is adding 19 residential units to a three-story building at 1285 Main Street. In the Larkin District, Frontier Group of Companies is planning the neighborhood’s first large residential project with 31 apartments at 550 Seneca Street. A development group is moving forward with plans for residential and commercial space at 5-7 Genesee Street across from the Hyatt. And on Pearl Street in the Theater District, Mark Croce is planning 29 apartments and commercial space in a six-story building at 505 Pearl Street.
Vacant or neglected buildings contribute to blight and negatively impact the city’s image and appearance. Physical deterioration and disorder is an indicator of incivility, impacts crime, and spreads a sense of decline and abandonment. The sense of disorder created by physical neglect also dissuades pedestrian traffic.
Thanks to tax credits and a strong residential market, developers have capitalized on the opportunities these vacant structures offer. In the process they are helping reinvigorate surrounding neighborhoods. Each successful project increases the likelihood of nearby underutilized buildings finding new life. 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for the city.