UPDATE: The Zoning Board tabled the item at today’s meeting.
To whom it may concern and ZBA Members,
My name is Jennifer Prince Bronstein, I am the owner of Half & Half Boutique, located address the street from the proposed condominium project at Elmwood and Forest. In January of 2016 I closed on the property at 1088 Elmwood Avenue which houses three apartments, a salon and the retail store. In February of 2016, I purchased the adjacent property, 1084 Elmwood, which was a mortuary for 100 years. Both of the properties have undergone extensive renovations: new roofs, new electrical systems, and major interior renovations. Both of these buildings had been severely neglected, and I was not made aware of the extent of the neglect upon purchase.
I purchased these properties and the business of Half & Half, in part, because the prospect of a new project being just across the street, for obvious reasons of increased foot traffic. While my renovations were going on, the Elmwood and Forest project has morphed into a condominium project which is even greater excitement.
As a small merchant located at the gateway to the Elmwood Village, the success of my store must rely on the street traffic, not the internet, for business. The more attractive the area is, the safer the Elmwood Village is, and the more successful the local merchants will be, thereby promoting longevity. The building at 1084 Elmwood, I purchased not only to be able to add parking behind 1084 and 1088, but also to develop. At this point, this development hinges on what happens (or doesn’t happen) at the corner.
The existing houses at the corner of Elmwood and Forest are shot. If something is going to be built there, it should be great. It should be a showcase project that we can all be proud of, that will warrant additional investments on the street. It appears as if the majority of people want to see this project move forward, and that a select vocal few are trying to block it. The greatest gift to Buffalo would be to take advantage of the opportunity that the Chason Affinity group has offered the community – a place to live, shop and park.
Please realize that opportunity only knocks once, and the time to act is now for a better future for Elmwood Avenue and Buffalo.
My hope is that you will help further along a futuristic approach to the Elmwood Village and to Buffalo itself. Buffalo has had the recent good fortune to become a community in resurgence. We must help to continue that effort, not stymie it. With the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield-Penney, and the Hotel Henry, we must continue to look at this development as a great opportunity to advance our wonderful city.
Thank you for your time and attention,
Jennifer Prince Bronstein
Today (June 21) at 4PM the project goes before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to hopefully get the variances approved. (If you can make it to lend support, the ZBA meeting is in the stunning Common Council Chambers on the 13th floor of City Hall). If you cannot make it, please feel free to voice your support by calling or emailing Mayor Byron Brown at 851-4841 firstname.lastname@example.org; Delaware District Common Councilman, Joel Feroleto, at 851-5155 email@example.com or Brendan Mehaffy, Executive Director, Office of Strategic Planning, 851-4769 Bmehaffy@city-buffalo.com and tell them “I support the 1111 Elmwood project!”