This morning Preservation Buffalo Niagara & the Elmwood Village Association announced the kick off of a market analysis and commercial district planning process to be conducted by the National Main Street Center through its UrbanMain program.The plan will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the Elmwood commercial district’s assets and build a framework for moving forward.
Joining us at the press conference today were Assembly member Sean M. Ryan and Buffalo Common Council Member David A. Rivera, who provided funding for the study, as well as State Senator Chris Jacobs and Common Council Member Joel Feroleto.
Recently, the Preservation Green Lab did an analysis of Buffalo and found that areas of older, smaller, more character-rich building stock, including the Elmwood Village, have 72% greater population density than the City as a whole, and nearly 70% more women and minority-owned businesses than the City as a whole. Thanks to this strength and diversity, Elmwood Avenue has received many accolades and honors over the years, and this has led to an increase in interest from investors in the area. While that attention can be positive, in some instances, it can threaten the very qualities that have led to the community’s success. In the last twenty four months, fifteen contributing buildings on the National Register have been lost, and there are plans and proposals to potentially remove a dozen more. The challenge for the Elmwood Village at this point in its development is how to allow the community to evolve and strengthen its core shopping district, without losing the very things that have made it the popular, vibrant place that is has traditionally been.
PBN is thrilled to be able to support the community at this time by bringing in the National Main Street Center, and its UrbanMain program, which will bring national expertise to bear on the distinct opportunities and challenges of the Elmwood Village by utilizing a set of community-driven economic development tools and services aimed at encouraging sustainable growth while preserving local history and culture.
Over the next two months, consultants from the National Main Street Center will collect and analyze market analysis data, survey community members, and meet with stakeholders. The Elmwood Village Association and Preservation Buffalo Niagara will jointly host a community-wide meeting in early October. Work will continue through the fall and winter, with final recommendations expected in January. Final recommendations will be shared with the community in another public forum.