The 500 Seneca Street building, near Larkinville, is one of the greatest redevelopment success stories that this city has ever seen. Not only did Savarino Companies and Frontier Group of Companies do an outstanding job of updating the former F.N. Burt Company box manufacturing plant, they also did a bang up job of drawing a plethora of stronghold businesses that are currently thriving within the complex, including Ideal Lifestyle of WNY (Ideal Protein Weight Loss Clinic), The Lunch Box, Tommyrotter Distillery, Phoenix Rising Therapeutic Massage and Body Work, Crown BFLO salon, Dōbutsu restaurant, Winkler & Samuels wine purveyors, and Animal Outfitters.
Speaking of Animal Outfitters, across Myrtle Street there is now a micro dog park that appears to be for use by dog owners in the building. It’s an ingenious little doggie playground where pups can romp around together. The dog park just goes to show what can be done with small plots of land, when larger plots are not available. This is a big quality of life issue for the residents, and their dogs.
The dog park sits in the shadow of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Warehouse, currently transitioning into AP Loft Apartments, which will amp up the residential momentum already in place at 500 Seneca with The Hydraulic Lofts.
Looking at the Myrtle Street side of 500 Seneca, one gets a sense about the possibilities that these types of buildings offer up. Downtown Buffalo was once loaded with industrial warehouse structures such as this. Thankfully some of them have been saved/salvaged. At the same time, it’s sad to think what was lost along the way. We can only hope that future infill will be architecturally significant, to play off of these types of structures that still exist today.
Can you imagine if there were just a few more of these buildings in the Cobblestone District, or at Canalside? These are the edifices that bring the wow factor to Buffalo. They are the cornerstones of vibrant neighborhoods. Just think about all of the activity that goes on inside this one monumental structure. Now, amplify that by five more, and we begin to understand why infill is so important.