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Demo Watch: 1820 Elmwood Avenue

Photo: PreservationReady.org

This is one Elmwood Avenue demolition that most people can get behind. Uniland Development Company was granted an emergency demolition permit to remove a vacant and condemned building at 1820 Elmwood Avenue starting today. The building, near the Elmwood-Hertel intersection, is part of an assemblage of properties Uniland intends to develop for a mix of uses.

The Dow building is a one-story brick and steel industrial structure on nearly two acres. It sustained a fire in April of 2015 and has sat vacant since the previous owner removed the damaged part of the building two years ago. Uniland acquired the property in October as part of a nine-acre deal stretching north to 1934 Elmwood Avenue. The City of Buffalo recently condemned the building and issued the demo permit.

An asbestos remeditation and excavation team from Empire Building Diagnostics will be on-site today. Concrete and steel will be removed and recycled off-site while asbestos-containing materials will be properly disposed of by licensed professionals. The site should be cleared within two weeks.

“We are securing the site to make it safer and cleaner for the neighborhood,” said Michael Montante, Uniland vice president. “This is just the first step of many as we refine our concept of bringing this corner back to life.”

Uniland intends to purchase 11 acres nearby in order to develop a total of 20 acres of prime commercial real estate in this re-emerging North Buffalo neighborhood.  The other buildings on site will be analyzed to determine their reuse ability.  

The usage concept includes “modern and efficient” retail, office, light industrial, and residential. Uniland is in discussions with potential tenants and other interested parties about serving the market’s needs.  Uniland is also putting together an outreach and engagement strategy to involve neighbors in the development plan.

Get Connected: Uniland Development Company, 716.834.5000

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • BuffaLife

    This is, for me, the most exciting development surrounding this corridor in years. It’s a high-traffic area, but severely underutilized/under-developed. I can’t wait until they release development plans and move forward with rebuilding that area.

    That said, if it’s a Wal-Mart, I’m gonna be pissed.

    • Matt Gracie

      I’ve long believed that the intersection of Elmwood and Hertel is build on an ancient sketchiness vortex, and that only shady or disreputable businesses can survive there. Like the guys selling counterfeit sneakers out of their trunk in warm weather.

    • Flyguy2pt0

      Yep. Fingers crossed they develop in an urban form.

      • Johnny Pizza

        I don’t understand to push for this area to be urban, its just not. If the Elmwood Village is limited to suburban three story structures then this should be even less dense than that. Its a retail corridor that service a driving population, its going to have a fair amount of parking if it includes retail stores.

    • OldFirstWard

      Start pissing, this large parcel has Walmart written all over it.

      • DeeDee

        This “large” parcel is about 1/8 of the size of a Walmart…

  • Mailman

    With the exception of the Elmwood Village, this is one demo we can all get behind.

    • jld5199

      The Deni family (former owners )has skated by for years in this corner and the buildings…from illegal dumping, graffiti, hucksters trespassing by setting up their stands to sell counterfeit goods, then the burnt out building that sat for a long time with no enforcement of repairs or demo…seems some wealthy families and non city residents who are property owners are above the law. I remember when the city wanted the corner parcel for a new firehouse, the refused to sell, instead was built on the squeezed in parcel where Mc Donalds formerly sat.Every year most of the Deni Holdings are on the city foreclosure list until the last minute…glad to see this parcel is out of the hands of irresponsible individuals…now if they would only let go of their holdings on Norris and Greeley st.

      • Mailman

        I’ve known the Deni family for some time and have had commercial interactions with them. Can’t say anything you’ve laid out there is untrue.

  • Matthew Moje

    I really hope they redevelop this building. I don’t know what the address is or what it was but it’s got a great look to it.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/166ce431cb62c6286bc904bad769ed12186bd8c15f030c1450f6ccbdc9006363.png

    • streetwise

      I’d say the possibility of this is slim. I checked this building out a few years back during my urban exploration days and I can tell you the building is in pretty bad shape. Gigantic holes in the floor and ceiling and the majority of the structure is falling apart. It might be salvageable but based on what I remember, it ain’t good.

    • Mr.GreenFatigues

      It is 1934 Elmwood, once occupied by the “Augustine Automatic Rotary Engine Co” ; which apparently sold more stock shares than it ever did engines https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f723ed97e5a40448d3c9d7a86b6ca8b4ac803dc6ac771f0532063a01937eff2.jpg

      • Matthew Moje

        Thanks for the picture!

  • Bags

    This is definitely a case of “anything’s better,” but fingers crossed that it will be urban oriented with parking on the side or in back. Would be nice to eventually extend the hertel Street wall to elmwood.

    • Johnny Pizza

      You can throw a stone from this corner to an entire complex of big box stores. This area services a car driving population from North Buffalo and Kenmore, so it would make sense if it was less urban than something further south on Elmwood or further east on Hertel.

  • A-BuffalLover

    To demolish this is a crime? Where are the “No Wrecking Ball” people? Where are Gretchen and Dan when we need them the most?

    This building fits in with that intersection. It is the fabric of Hertel/Elmwood. The one story build is reminiscent of the period it was built. Not to mention the fact that it is a historical steel structure. The steel industry is so important to Buffalo’s history, we could not possibly tear down an important part of that history.

    I know, they look terrible. But the owner allowed them to look terrible (couldn’t they have called 911 sooner). And how dare the city issue the demo permit. Clearly Councilperson JF is on the take again!

  • A-BuffalLover

    To demolish this is a crime? Where are the “No Wrecking Ball” people? Where are Gretchen and Dan when we need them the most?

    This building fits in with that intersection. It is the fabric of Hertel/Elmwood. The one story build is reminiscent of the period it was built. Not to mention the fact that it is a historical steel era structure. The steel industry is so important to Buffalo’s history, we could not possibly tear down an important part of that history.

    I know, the building looks terrible. But the owner allowed them to look terrible (couldn’t they have called 911 sooner). And how dare the city issue the demo permit. Clearly Councilperson JF is on the take again!

    • Dylan Burns

      Crap like this undermines genuine preservation efforts that have saved countless gems from the wrecking ball – buildings that we look to as emblematic of Buffalo and the work that is being done to bring the city back – buildings like the Richardson-Olmsted Complex, the Hotel Lafayette, the Darwin Martin Complex, and so many others.

      A bit more societal inclination towards preservation might have saved some of the countless gems we’ve lost.

      • A-BuffalLover

        Yes it does Dylan. Yes it does.

      • Ronald Edward

        Not everyone feels that if it is old it must be saved. Many of those “gems” were dumps and many are glad they were removed from sight.

  • Jonnno

    According to the Buffalo News, Chase Affinity has started demolition of the houses at Elmwood and Forest. Is that true?

  • ChronicWestSider

    This building was abandoned and had become decrepit many years before the 2015 fire. I never could understand why the Building Inspections Dept.and Housing Court never did anything about it. To whom was the owner related?

  • Ronald Edward

    It will be good to see this eye sore gone. That whole section of Elmwood has been underdeveloped for so long it is good to see signs of new life

  • jonny99

    in other news the Common Council is taking another look at the Green Code to rework some aspects that have been detrimental to projects and caused a heavy burden to the variance process

    • greenca

      Interesting news. Where did you hear this?