Over the last couple of years, Hertel Avenue has experienced tremendous growth. Due to that growth, many people that vowed never to live anywhere other than the Elmwood Village are now contemplating otherwise. I’m not saying that people are “up and moving”, but I am saying that newbies to the city are now weighing the two districts against each other more than ever before.
Recently, there have been some great new developments on Elmwood, including the new build at the corner of Elmwood and Delavan (see here) and Thin Man. At the same time, there have been plenty of vacancies, which one Buffalo Rising reader attributes to greedy landlords , although that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“I drive up and down elmwood every day in the course of fixing now highly desirable houses in the Elmwood Village,” wrote the reader. “I have been noticing an increasing number of vacant storefronts on Elmwood – I count four between Bryant and Utica alone, and another cluster of vacancies north of Lafayette. In talking with my favorite coffee shop owner and others, what seems to be happening is that with the success of the Elmwood Village “brand”, some of greedier landlords get new business owners to sign on for short term leases. At the end of that lease, and after the business has invested time and money to open, they get hit with a crippling rent increase/gouge (or hidden fees). The landlords are cashing in on the new appeal of the village formerly known as “The Strip”. It can be argued that no one is putting a gun to a new business owner’s head, however even in the climate of exalting the benefits of the free market, let’s keep it local – can you say rent control?”
Ok, after all of that, and thinking about Elmwood (between Lexington and Bryant) for years, this is my summation. It’s not all good or bad, it’s just a breakdown of the status of the street, as I see it:
There you have it. Actually, there’s more, but this is all that I have time for. Thanks for sending us the email this morning. I’ve been thinking about this one for a while.
I have an assignment for everyone, by the way. Count the number of people that you see in all of the photos above. Then add them up and what do you get? A dismal picture unfortunately. It’s a good thing that other sections of Elmwood are still looking bright, because this section needs some help. Let’s get it moving along!
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.