The Genesee Gateway has had its fair share of ups and downs. Obviously, one of the ‘downs,’ was the loss of 324 Oak Street, which was sadly demolished after a partial building collapse. As for one of the ‘ups’ (there have been many), you might recall that a new retail shop was in the works for 130 Genesee Street, called Realm.
It turns out that the relatively new owners of the buildings (adjacent to one another) – Legacy Development/Character: A Property Company – were not only busy dealing with the collapse and ensuing demolition of 324 Oak, they were also attempting to mitigate some issues at 130 Genesee. The presence of a severe case of mold, due to undetected water damage, meant that the build-out of the retail shop would take longer than expected.
Originally, Realm – the brainchild of Keelin Burke – was on schedule to open in time for the 2021 holiday season (there was a November deadline). But between the demolition next door, and the presence of mold in her future storefront space, an alternative plan needed to be hatched.
With the help of Legacy Development, Keelin was able to find an alternative “temporary” storefront in Downtown Buffalo.
“Legacy kindly offered Realm a temporary location through the fall and winter at 441 Ellicott Street (formally Maureen’s Wholesale Flowers (lead image), who has moved next door!” said Keelin. “I’m so happy to be provided with a space to still open, even with all the ups and downs with Realm’s future permanent space.”
While the new space is an ideal temporary location, there is one issue that Keelin is contending with. It’s a lot bigger than what she originally signed up for. Therefore, she is accepting applications from pop-up vendors who want to join her in a “shared space” concept through the holidays, until she can officially open at the Genesee Gateway.
“I’m looking for pop-up shops, events, filmmakers, designers, makers, artists, musicians, classes, and more, to apply and help me warm up this space alongside Realm’s offerings,” said Keelin. “I’m very excited to loop the community into this temp space — after all, that’s a big part of Realm’s ethos!”
Who knows? Maybe this could be the beginning of another excellent incubator opportunity for start-up entrepreneurs? 441 Ellicott Street is located in a prime location, down the way from the Theater District, Chippewa, the Market Arcade, and it’s close to the Metro Rail.
Thankfully, Keelin’s new retail venture did not hit a brick wall. Losing 324 Oak was bad enough. As luck would have it, she’s till on track (just another track) with her project. Hopefully there are a number of budding entrepreneurs out there who are looking to team up, to create a new collaborative venture at 441 Ellicott Street, while 130 Genesee gets the Legacy treatment.
Keelin is expecting to officially be open in her newly refurbished, mold-free building by February of 2022. In the meantime, let’s see what exciting developments arise at 441 Ellicott Street… stay tuned!
Click here to view the 441 Ellicott Street shared space application.