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Signs of New Life on Elmwood’s 500 Block?

After posting a BRO piece, analyzing some serious issues on the 400-500 blocks of Elmwood, I discovered some signs of life coming to the lackluster part of the street. Hopefully, if we can land (and retain) a few more businesses on the stretch of Elmwood, between Utica and Bryant, this section of the street will begin to further stabilize.

First things first – Boxstar Training is moving into the former NEO Gift Studio space, directly next to Mythos. NEO moved to higher grounds on the street, to be a part of the JT’s Urban Italian action. Boxstar is a gym and physical fitness center – a boxing style training gym. 

Next up, word on the street is that the former Liberty Tax storefront will transition into a T-Mobile location. That’s not exactly the most exciting news, but at least it’s not going to be a seasonal tax spot that sits empty for long periods of time – glass half full, I suppose. You know a section of a street has been struggling when you’re looking forward to a cell phone store moving in. A long term agreement was signed in February.

Then we have the now-empty Erbert & Gerbert’s location. This spot is apparently in line for a local chicken wing place (mom and pop), but there is nothing solid, so far, to confirm the rumblings on the street. What I can safely say, is that the restaurant is pretty much turnkey, because the former sub shop tricked out the location nicely. It should be ready to go, without much muss or fuss.

There’s still no word about the yellow trimmed building next door, but according to someone who knows the building owner, every space is now rented except for the one location next to Newbury Street (Crush Juicers vacated, leaving a space open). Apparently there is a lot of interest in that location as well – we shall see.

So it looks like there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel for some of these vacant shop fronts. At the same time, this is no mere underpass… it’s a long tunnel that never seems to end for these blocks. Hopefully The City can get its act together and fix sections of the sidewalk that are crumbling, and the owners of all of the empty storefronts will conduct some due diligence to figure out what is wrong with the way that they’re doing business (or lack of business as the case may be).

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.

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