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The activation of Sublot 37

In advance of a more concrete long-term project at 450 Rhode Island, lot owners micro-developer E. Frits Abell (CEO of materialsIn) and Justin Smith (Remedy House) are activating the space, which they are referring to as “Sublot 37.” Typically, these types of lots sit dormant, collecting litter and debris, before anything productive is added to the site. In the case of Sublot 37, Frits and Justin decided that it was much more important to see some sort of productive activity, while they work behind the scenes on future development plans.

To that end, Frits and Justin enlisted the help of Kae Baramee (Tiny Thai food truck), Abby Spindelman (Intimacy Alive – yoga classes), and Nadine Ogle (artist/muralist), to come up with a plan to provide some life to the lot that needed some woman-focused energy.

It all started with a mural by Ogle, which is now complete. While the mural was being painted, Abby began to hold her yoga classes at the site*, which have been garnering a lot of interest (especially thanks to the new mural, which is a great billboard for the activities). And finally, Kae’s food truck will soon be rolling up to the lot to serve up some authentic Thai dishes – the truck is still being built out). 

When it comes to placemaking exercises, the Five Points neighborhood continues to impress. It is these types of grassroots DIY initiatives that send signals to others that the water is warm. Just think what a sight it will be when Sublot 37 is fully activated.

And someday, when Frits and Justin move forward with their development, this sublot will take on an entirely new role as a solid anchor for the street. At that point, another sublot might come into play, which would accommodate more artists and entrepreneurs. And the whole creative-economic cycle will begin again.

Yoga: Wednesdays and Fridays 9am to 10am. Donation based movement classes on the corner of Rhode Island & 18th Street.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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