Public housing is typically not known for high level design, particularly older complexes. But new construction should at least try to not be so depressing. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority is proposing to replace one of the buildings at its LaSalle Courts development off Kenmore Avenue near Elmwood with something more grim than what it’s replacing. Yes it is possible.
BMHA is proposing to replace a fire-damaged four-unit building with a new four-unit townhouse building at 358-364 Grove Street. The new building is deficient in front façade transparency on the first and second floors. With just nine small windows for four units, the project has 14 to 15 percent transparency where just 20 percent is the minimum required.
The application states the new structure will be “uniform with the surrounding community” and if the variance was denied and needed to meet code, it would “distort the consistency of the current housing community.”