Not only is Allen Street close to seeing the kick off of a full reconstruction project, there appears to be good news around other corners. The Allentown Association was recently awarded a $300,000 grant from the Better Buffalo Fund. According to the The Allentown Neighbor, the funds are to be used to “improve buildings, storefronts and streetscape elements (trash bins and banners) on Allen Street.”
This is great news, because there are still a couple of holdout buildings that could really use the help. Actually, it’s incredible that a building such as 15 Allen Street (see above) is even able to exist in its current state in this day and age, when the Medical Campus is growing by leaps and bounds a block away.
Over the last couple of years, a number of new businesses have opened on the street, each bringing a new vibrant appeal – Billy Club, Allen Burger Venture, Grindhaus Café, Sweet Temptations du Jour, Alley Cat, etc. Plus, there are even more new businesses on the way. This dynamic trend is welcome on a street that has had its share of ups and downs for so long.
According to the Allentown Association, Better Buffalo Fund (part of Buffalo Billion) also provided a $365,160 loan to Linwood Allentown Preservation (LAP) LLC to address the commercial storefronts within the Red Jacket Building – corner of Allen and Main (see below). Those funds are also being applied to 76 Grant Street, which is owned by LAP. The Red Jacket corner has been blighted for far too long, and although the 11, 577 sq.’ of commercial store frontage looks a heck of a lot better, the interior spaces could still use a sprucing up. Maybe of the right business comes around? It would be great to see an anchor tenant sign off on this corner.
More than anything else underway in Allentown, neighbors are chomping at the bit to see the Allen Street Extension Project begin in 2017. The alone will help to raise the aesthetic bar on the entire street. Below are two early-on bookend street concepts.