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West Side infill on the way…

As the infrastructure improvements on Niagara Street continue to roll out, private investment is underway along the corridor. There is one particular family that has been paying attention to a lower West Side neighborhood for upwards of six years now. Joel Giambra (former County Executive, thus Executive Property Homes) purchased a series of vacant plots well before the City ever announced its intentions to redevelop Niagara Street. His intention was to build upon the properties when the time was right, and that time is now.

Joel’s son Nick also entered the real estate business, with Buffalo First Realty Group. Between the two, they have a lot of properties (some vacant, some built) for sale, and Joel has plans to purchase even more lots even though the West Side’s hot real estate market is coming to a rapid boil. At this point, it’s more about strategic moves and being smart about the purchases, unlike six years ago when the real estate landscape was still a buyer’s market. Plus, back then the City was allowing anyone to buy vacant plots of land cheap, with or without plans for the future, according to Joel and Nick. These days potential buyers must show that they have the ways and means to develop the parcels.


“This is the neighborhood where I grew up,” said Joel. “At this point I own 15 buildable lots (25 to 40 foot wide lots). My goal is to create needed infill in the neighborhood. We’re just starting to market these units this week. Even without marketing, we’re getting phone calls every single day. We’re getting potential buyers calling from East Aurora and Orchard Park who are looking for low maintenance smaller units. These people want to live in the city because there is so much going on these days.

The first phase of the Olmsted Park – Connecticut Village Project features over a dozen desirable City lots at an affordable price. 

At the intersection of Prospect and Pennsylvania (one block from Niagara Street), Joel is in the midst of constructing three buildings – 401 Prospect Avenue,  a single next door that will have a Pennsylvania address, and a third that is set to be built on vacant parcel across the street at 403 Prospect. Townhomes start at $269,000, with standard finishes – upgrading finishes from there is possible.

225 Plymouth
The Giavanna – 225 Plymouth | Side by side duplex | Olmsted Park in Connecticut Village | Townhouses

225 Plymouth (a couple of blocks over) is the finished model home. Aside from the single home, all units will be roughly 1,400 square feet with three bedrooms two full baths, and basement. Future owners have the opportunity to pick custom finishes.

Looking forward to spring of 2017, Joel will hoping to add another 50 units to the lower West Side. He’s also talking about building some bigger development projects, on top of the smaller ones that he will continue to push forward. “Six years ago I told my dad that he was crazy when he started to purchase these vacant lots,” said Nick. “Now I’m eating my words.”

Buffalo First Realty Group | 488-490 Niagara Street | Buffalo, NY 14201 | Call for more information and schedule a visit: 716.465.1361

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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