Three concepts for refurbishing and revitalizing the Grant Street neighborhood were unveiled Friday by project leaders who say their goal is to make a traditionally busy district better for those already living and working there.
The Reimagining Grant Street project commenced in 2019. State Senator Sean Ryan, who was in the Assembly when the initiative began, says the goal is to determine how to improve infrastructure including roads, sidewalks, lights, even the buildings, to make Grant Street more conducive to shopping, working and living there.
“We have to make it easier for pedestrians who come to shop on Grant Street. It's a very interesting commercial district, in that it primarily serves the residents who live around there," Ryan said. "A big percentage of those residents do not have access to an automobile. So people are walking to shop. And we have to make sure we have a good interface between pedestrians, bicycles, and cars.”
The renderings (see below) were prepared by GObike Buffalo and will be available for public review in a series of workshops that begin next week. The first will be held Tuesday, May 25 at 10 a.m. at Campus Walk, 643 Grant Street. The concepts, according to project backers, were formed following research and public feedback. Preservation Buffalo Niagara was expected to also announce some upcoming public hearing opportunities.
Ryan says what the project does not seek to do is overhaul and reinvent the neighborhood. Grant Street, in Buffalo's West Side, is one recognized for its ethnic and cultural diversity.
“It's always been the neighborhood that welcomes immigrants,” he said. “It's a great strip where you can have the Italian market, the Asian market, the halal market, the flooring store, it's all happening on Grant Street. We just want to make it so there's more business opportunities for local merchants, to find their way to Grant Street and fill up some of the empty storefronts.”