Leading up to New Years, I’m going to be creating a number of Wish Lists, in order to showcase some issues and potentials that face various commercial streets in Buffalo.
I figured that I would start with Grant Street, since one of the problematic properties on my long time Watch List is now going to be addressed – 65 Grant Street.
Grant Street begins at the corner of Hampshire Street. The intersection has the potential to become a welcoming entranceway onto the street. Instead, two of the corners look as if they might be used car sales lots combined with foreboding impounds (for whatever happens to be impounded there). This is how Grant Street begins (to the north). Seeing that this is a bookend of Street, we should be addressing it as such. I once spoke to real estate investor who was eying a beautiful building at this same intersection. Unfortunately he never bought it because of the deplorable nature of the junction. It’s an atypical corner, that could one day become a shining star instead of a black eye.
For as long as I can remember, the corner of Grant and Auburn has been a jacked up lot, with absolutely nothing besides illicit behavior talking place. It’s not even a parking lot, due to the concrete barriers that have been placed along the perimeter. Occasionally someone dumps something there. This corner could help to lead the renaissance of the street, if cleaned up and handed to the right developer (not sure if there are tanks underground). The City should be looking at properties such as this as key parcels to change the face of the street. In the meantime, how about setting up an outdoor public market place in the summertime? WEDI?
There are a couple of really bad building facade cover ups that need to be addressed on the street, which is unfortunate. The good news is, there’s a lot of great infill on the street, and if the above mentioned derelict looking lots were addressed, there would be a chain reaction with investment.
Already we are seeing the corner of Grant and Potomac boosting the enthusiasm and confidence of others in the district, much the same way that Prish Moran’s investments at the corner of Lafayette led to a small uprising on contiguous blocks.
Fixing building facades will come about faster, if we can tackle some of the deplorable lot issues on the street. They send a signal that “The City doesn’t care about Grant… so why should we?”
Hopefully in 2016, the City will address some of these unsightly issues in ways that will bolster the confidence of others to invest in the street.