500 Block Redevelopment Concept
Rethinking the 500 Block of Main Street, in Buffalo, NY
In late 2006, The Urban Design Project worked together with Buffalo Place Inc., property owners and Carmina & Wood, PC to create a concept document for redevelopment of the 500 Block of Main Street, in Buffalo, NY. This is not the first time the Urban Design Project was involved with this site. In 1991, a study undertaken by the Urban Design Project suggested small office space as the best use of 500 block upper floors, with buildings linked to make the space more marketable. At that time, little to no residential housing existed in downtown Buffalo and not many owners could be convinced to link (or sell) their buildings for the project to get off the ground. Since then, vacancy rates have risen and most owners are losing money on their properties, changing the economic incentive to work together and form a joint entity. Further, a strong downtown housing market has emerged. The combination of these conditions, added to the free development feasibility studies and other services provided to building owners, makes this an ideal time for redevelopment to finally occur.