Sale threatens the future of Buffalo's Hostel

Mar 15, 2017

A unique asset in Buffalo's Theater District may become the victim of downtown's growing success. City Hall is looking sell a building that serves thousands of international  travelers annually. 

The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency has issued a request for proposals for 667 Main Street home of the Buffalo-Niagara Youth Hostel.

The Buffalo-Niagara Youth Hostel's longtime home was designed by E.B. Green.
Credit Buffalo-Niagara Youth Hostel

"We opened up in 1996. And we were probably one of the first projects to take place on the 600 block," Cliff Madell said.

Madell is the president of the non-profit that operates the Hostel.
"It seems now that real estate is getting valuable they're eager to kind of discard us and put in apartments or whatever private developers might develop," Madel said.  
The facility offers shared and private rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities and more starting at $30.00 a night. He says each year they serve nearly 6,000 - mostly international - travelers.   

The Hostel's amenities include a shared kitchen.
Credit Buffalo-Niagara Youth Hostel

"The idea behind hostels is basically to promote a space for cultural exchange amongst young people from around the world to break down prejudices and gain greater understanding of people of different cultures and ultimately toward generating world peace," Madell said.

And its location next to the Town Ballroom is key.
"People get off public transportation, you know, young kids with backpacks get off trains or buses, and they need, really, a downtown facility. And obviously with what's going on downtown, if we lost this space, at this point, we'd never find another space that we would be operable," Madell said.

The deadline to submit proposals for purchasing the building is noon Wednesday