Arista Development is proposing to construct a Wendy’s restaurant at 969 McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo. The 2,591 sq.ft. restaurant would occupy a 1.4-acre parcel currently occupied by a shuttered off-track betting facility that would be demolished.
Like most fast food restaurants with drive-thrus, a number of Variances are required: front and corner side yards greater than 10 feet, under 70 percent front façade transparency, not meeting buffer requirements, and excessive ground floor height.
From the project application:
The Wendy’s restaurant itself will be a 2,591 square foot restaurant with attractive franchise standard design elements, fenestration, and coloring. Additionally, the Project strategically orients the site plan to place the drive-through lane and vehicle stacking in the rear of the Property. Consequently, the building itself fronts McKinley Parkway to enhance pedestrian access and encourage a more impactful streetscape. Applicant hopes this Project serves as a model for D-S redevelopment in the City.
The elevations indicate an attractive façade that goes beyond traditional fast-food restaurant design to incorporate contemporary design features like a 21 foot high branded blade and lighting. Importantly, because the building is at the lot line, it sets the bar for D-S and fast food development, eschewing front yard stacking and enhancing pedestrian access, which positively impacts the neighborhood. In addition, a positive change in the neighborhood results from the elimination of a long vacant building.