Brewery's choice typifies growth of Larkinville

Mar 24, 2014

Flying Bison Brewing Company is the latest addition to the growing Buffalo neighborhood known as Larkinville.

The conversion of the former Larkin Terminal Building into class A office space in 2002 is still reaping rewards. The old industrial area around Seneca, Exchange and Smith Streets dates back to 1827, when it was known as the Hydraulics.

Larkin Square at 745 Seneca Street is the heart of the area that has become known as Larkinville.

"Not only have we not really taken advantage of any incentives, we've actually, with the help particularly of First Niagara, invested in the public infrastructure down here. These streets have been completely redone primarily on private dollars. So we had a vision for this district. We did a lot of planning and we put our money where our mouth is," says Howard Zemsky, Larkin Development's Managing Partner.

Flying Bison's new brewery is scheduled to open in July just a few blocks down Seneca from the Larkin building. Zemsky says it's a sign of critical mass.

"Flying Bison, they looked all over the place, at like 15, maybe 25, different possible sites. They came here of their own accord. It wasn't because of special incentives. They saw this as an emerging neighborhood. So it's good, one thing builds on the other and it just keeps accumulating," Zemsky said Friday.

On March 25, other developers are scheduled to review drawings with Buffalo's Planning Board for the renovation of 550 Seneca Street. Plans for the 100-year-old complex include more than two dozen upscale apartments with indoor parking.