Private group formed to advance Chippewa District

Aug 1, 2014

A private sector group has been formed to preserve and advanced the Chippewa District in downtown Buffalo. The Chippewa Alliance is comprised of representatives from various local businesses, including Key Bank, Uniland Development, Delaware North Companies, Eric Mower + Associates, Evergreen Health Services, North American Breweries (Labatt), Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP.

Cross-section of Franklin Street and Chippewa Street in downtown Buffalo.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

The collaborative effort also includes input from developers, residents, and restaurants such as Bacchus, The Lodge and SoHo Burger Bar.

Chippewa Alliance President Elizabeth Vealey says the group creates community among key stakeholders who share a common goal of investing in the area as a place to live, work and play.

“We have three goals. The first goal is to focus on economic development. We want to continue attracting the right businesses to Chippewa. So far there has been great success in this area and we want to continue the momentum. The second goal is beautification of the neighborhood.  We want to continue the streetscape and making it more attractive, not only for current residents and employees, but also to attract tourism, as well. And of course we want to increase foot traffic on Chippewa,” said Vealey.

Chippewa Alliance President Elizabeth Vealey, along with Tom Liptak of Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP, Mayor Byron Brown and Rachel Stenclik.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Vealey says she believes the group will be instrumental in attracting new businesses, retail stores and restaurants to the area. She says the group will be focusing on filling vacant buildings and offices on the street.

“This is not the same Chippewa,” said Vealey.

Chippewa Street.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Rachel Stenclik, resident, The Avant. Stenclik says the Chippewa District will always be premier for entertainment, but it’s also a great place to live.

“I’ve lived down here for four years and it has been a very exciting place to live. The amount of development that has been going on, my husband and I go for walks all the time around here. It is so great to live down here. So, when people look at me and say: ‘Do you feel safe living downtown? Are you uncomfortable?’ I walk my dog at 11 o’clock at night and I’m absolutely fine. I feel really safe. I encourage everyone to come move down here and really you’ll love living down here,” said Stenclik.

The incorporated organization plans to collaborate with existing neighborhood groups such as Genesee Gateway, to strategize ways to increase foot traffic into the city.