At this point, everyone’s talking about the reopening of the 500 Block of Main Street to vehicular traffic, as they should be.
At the same time, we need to remember that there is a stretch of Main Street, from Goodell to Lafayette Avenue that could use some serious loving.
The stretch encompasses the Medical Campus, Sinatra & Company Real Estate strategically placed Fenton Village at the corner of West Ferry, Packard Apartments at Riley, Artspace at Barker, further Sinatra and Ellicott Development investments between Best and Tupper, Bosche building at 916-18 Main (Greenleaf) and the Red Jacket next door (Brett Fitzpatrick and Aaron Siegel) at the corner of Allen.
All combined, with other smaller and older real estate investments added to the mix, this section of Main Street (infrastucture-wise) should be addressed sooner rather than later. The City needs to add to the buzz that we are seeing currently. While there is a lot going on, this part of Main Street still looks deplorable in sections. Just think about all of the private and public money that is being infused right now… and then look at the condition of the street that ties it all together.
When 1665 Main Street (Sinatra) is complete, it will be a major victory for this long forlorn aforementioned section of Main Street. It’s time that we do something similar to that of which we are witnessing on Niagara Street – a plan to connect disparate sections of Main Street together by creating walkable, aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods, with proper lighting, trees, etc.
A few years back, The City messed up the Main Street infrastructure project from Humboldt to the University District – South Campus. Instead of putting in bike lanes, they put in turning lanes and planted medians. It was an extremely frustrating mistake that we will pay for years to come, since every other city in America is fighting to build bike-friendly communities. Plus, Main Street is designated as NYS Bicycle Route 517… what a blunder.
While that blunder will remain to haunt us, there is a section of Main Street that could emerge as an unsung hero in Buffalo’s newfound destiny to achieve greatness. It’s the stretch that lies between Goodell and Lafayette Avenue – an opportunity that is ripe for the taking. We need to protect the investments that are being made. The best way to do that is to enhance the streets and the sidewalks around them. Ultimately, this will also attract additional investments from developers that might be looking for signals that The City is ready to join the fight.
Lead image: Newly released rendering of 1665 Main Street