There’s some exciting news brewing in the Five Points neighborhood. Frits Abell, whose brainchild is the echo Art Fair, currently owns the building situated at this prime Five Points location (429 Rhode Island). I spoke to Frits yesterday about his plans for the corner, and he told me that he is in the midst of stabilizing the building’s foundation before he moves ahead with any other design plans. Apparently, the foundation needs to be raised 3″ in order to realign and set the structure.
Once this work is done, Frits says that he intends to attract a café operator. “We can never have enough coffee shops in Buffalo,” he mentioned. “You go to other cities and they are on every corner. We will not compete with Five Points Bakery and Toast Bar, rather I am of the belief that a rising tide lifts all ships. I will bring a diverse business to the street once the work is complete on the building.”
Not only does Frits own 429 Rhode Island, he has also been acquiring a number of other properties in the neighborhood, including 385 Rhode Island. At this location, his intention is to “create an interesting commercial venture with a social enterprise base.” Stay tuned for more on that one.
Frits also tells me that the Five Points community is floating around a concept for a major public work of art that would be unlike anything that we have seen in this city. “The tactical urbanism event (see here) opened a lot of people’s eyes to the opportunities and the future of the Five Points intersection.”
Along with all of this welcome news, the Five Points Bakery project is still under construction (see here), and looks to be coming around nicely.
And there’s a new wine boutique on the way too, called Paradise Wine (435 Rhode Island). We should have updates on all of these projects coming soon (and others that are still under wraps at the moment).