Anyone that has frequented The Broadway Market over the last few decades can tell you that the market is in need of some updates. It all starts with the facade – if you have ever visited a market of this type in another city, chances are that it has some style and charm, whether it’s a modern facade or one with a rustic appearance. Buffalo’s markets once retained this sort of charm, but over the years these qualities have been greatly diminished.
Markets should be intriguing and inviting. The Broadway Market is neither. For all intents and purposes, it’s bland and uninviting, which is unfortunate when you consider the history of the market and its host Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.
Earlier this week, Empire State Development (ESD) announced that it has concluded with its final consultant recommendations that will ultimately address the shortcomings of the market, while enhancing the positive aspects that serve the community, including the new commercial kitchen and the rooftop garden, not to mention all of the notable vendors that have been holding down the fort over the years (both permanently and seasonally). We must also acknowledge and pay tribute to the market’s status as “one of the country’s oldest and largest city-owned public markets.”
“These recommendations—inspired by the successful revitalization of similar markets across the country—will help the Broadway Market proactively evolve as a year-round destination both locally and for visitors from across the region and beyond,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler.
To date, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has committed $4 million to enhance the Broadway Market, via Buffalo Billion funds. Now, a five-to-10-year implementation of the plan will see the market transitioned into an ethnic and international market that will capitalize on Buffalo’s ongoing commitment towards becoming a welcoming and diverse city. To that end, the City will retain ownership of the market, but there will be a new non-profit entity that will lease the building and manage the market, which will be a favorable change.
Recommendations will include:
- Progressively utilizing the structure’s entire 547,000 square feet for market uses, which currently equates to just 6 percent of its floor area;
- Filling the market with fresh and ethnic food stalls and international groceries, as well as restaurants and prepared food stalls;
- Making the structure’s basement accessible and renovating it to serve the Market’s tenants by adding space for walk-in coolers, freezers, and storage, as well as building utilities, freeing up additional tenant space and for enticing displays;
- Addressing the street-level and allowing multiple points of entry with new restaurants and grocers that would activate and extend out along public sidewalk areas; and
- Replacing problematic escalators with new freight and passenger elevators and improving parking garage areas so they are bright, attractive, safe, and accessible.
Since ESD contracted with CJS Architects in March 2020, the team has worked with Public Market Development (PDM) and Developments by JEM to engage the community to get critical and productive feedback. Over 1000 people have contributed their thoughts and ideas throughout the process. Prior studies have also been taken into consideration.
The revamp of the market is projected to cost $44,431, 630 – a significant investment into the neighborhood that will hopefully create an investment ripple effect.
One day, the Broadway “International” Market will live up to its name, and its storied history. In the meantime, the public eagerly awaits the quantifying results that will demonstrate that the City is serious about this market, and the East Side.
Read the full “Buffalo’s Broadway International Market Business Plan” here.
The Broadway Market 999 Broadway Buffalo NY