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Design Competition Kick Off – The Redevelopment of 998 Broadway (former K-Mart)

There’s really nothing worse than seeing a massive development site left abandoned, with no plans to redevelop on the table. These abandoned sites, such as malls or Walmarts, can bring entire neighborhoods down with them. That’s why the organization Designing To Live Sustainably is embarking upon a Public Envisioning & Design Workshop that intends to identify potential future uses for 998 Broadway (a former K-Mart).

“This is an opportunity for anyone with an idea, not limited to professionals, to share their vision for the community, with the community,” said George Besch, Designing to Live Sustainably. 

The community is invited to participate in the Design Competition on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Following are all of the details:

Competition Purpose: Entries will endeavor to show how to develop the 998 Broadway (former K-Mart) site in a community-positive way. Entrants may come up with a broad range of suggestions, and may present their proposals in a number of different ways. Teams with architects may want to present architectural drawings, planners may want to present conceptual diagrams, community activists may want to present written proposals, and artists may present any kind of visual concept. A sociological study of the community with recommendations for what sorts of development are needed could be one type of acceptable written proposal. Concepts should include redevelopment of the entire site, not just the building.

Site: 998 Broadway, 5.28 acres with the 80,000 sq.ft. former K-Mart building, set back from Broadway, and bordered by Gibson, Lombard and Beck Streets.

Kick-off Event: There will be a Competition Workshop on September 15, 2018. This workshop, led by members of the Design Buffalo team, will focus on educating potential entrants, and other interested parties, about the site, the community, Green Code compliance, and the competition. Maps of the site will be available, local community members will speak about their community, and what they would like to see. Representatives of the property owners have been invited to hear what people have to say and give their own input. Some “charette” style design sessions may be offered, getting participants sitting down with pencil and paper to investigate ideas with guidance from Design Buffalo members.

Community input is an essential part of the competition and will be encouraged that day, with opportunity for attendees to write their comments, and offer ways to participate in the competition and ongoing discussions.

Competition: The workshop on September 15th will kick-off the competition, and entrants will then have approximately two months to work on their proposals, to be submitted by December 31, 2018. An awards event will follow, date to be determined, probably the following month.

At the awards event the entries will be displayed, either on boards, or, if the entry is a written report, by copies of the report. The public will be able to vote for a People’s Choice award, the competition entrants will vote for a Competitor’s Choice Award, and the judges will select other awardees plus the overall award winner. There will be some cash prizes TBD. The panel of judges will include architects, planners, community activists, and a representative of the building owners.

Interested participants can RSVP to Crystal Surdyk at

The Public Visioning and Design Workshop are being held in advance of the 2019 YIMBY Festival – (Yes In My Back Yard) Festival.

YIMBY is an initiative of Designing to Live Sustainably, an organization whose mission is to collectively embrace our responsibility to future generations by doing more than merely coping with the effects of climate change, designing built environment and policies that facilitate doing well and to nurture a culture of economic, social, and environmental responsibility within the greater Buffalo-Niagara community. 

Inspired by YIMBY Toronto, the Buffalo Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBY)initiative brings together Block Clubs, neighborhood groups, grass roots organizations and interested individuals to get to know each other, share ideas and experiences, and develop skills and strategies that can improve the City of Buffalo, one block at a time. YIMBY promotes the role of community groups as an integral force for positive and sustainable change in the Buffalo-Niagara Region. 

Stay tuned for more information pertaining to the 2019 YIMBY Festival.

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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