Comment 87487

By billn (registered) | Posted March 25, 2013 at 14:39:52

I have been a regular visitor to Buffalo over the last 25 years, and am in professional contact with the heritage preservation folks there. The changes I have seen, especially in the past 5 or 6 years, certainly support the claims above. Buffalo is reclaiming and rehabilitating its waterfront,encouraging brownfield redevelopment and industrial building retrofits, and has built new, downtown sports venues with little dedicated parking. (We were there last weekend as people arrived on foot from scattered private lots and by transit for a Sabre's game. Local pubs were full, and a very lively scene.) A lot of the redevelopment is being spurred by small business, often times setting up shop in heritage buildings, which create neighborhood hubs, from which more redevelopment radiates. The establishent of a coffee shop on a formerly sketchy corner is credited with beginning the transformation of the now trendy Chip & Del district. The retrofit by Ani Difranco of a beautiful stone church into a performing & gallery space, record company office and pub is inspiring. Areas like Allantown and Elmwood Village are now thriving, walkable urban neigborhoods.

The encouraging take-away for Hamilton is that Buffalo was much closer to rock bottom than we are, but even so all these tools that we have at our disposal are starting to make a positive difference there. The turn-around could be much quicker here.

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