Transforming Buffalo’s Main Street

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Block by block, Main Street in Buffalo is being transformed. Soon the stretch of road will be open to traffic and the trains will share the street with cars and pedestrians.

For decades, the design of the 500 block of Main Street has deterred developers.

Steven Carmina of Carmina Wood Morris, P.C. Architecture said, “The block was mostly an ignored block because the buildings were small and they weren’t interconnected.”

The historic buildings are still standing but the storefronts between Chippewa and Mohawk Street are mostly abandoned.

Carmina said, “This is a pretty complete block, if you look at photos from the 1930s, most of the buildings are mostly intact.”

However, a project to open the street to vehicle traffic again is luring investors and the empty spaces will soon be filled.

Carmina plans to transform the old Texas Hots building by adding three apartments on the upper floors and he’s in negotiations to bring a fine dining restaurant to the first floor.

He explained, “Very soon this could be the point where everyone goes on a weekend, which would be very awesome for the city and for the Hyatt and the stakeholders here.”

Sandra Wilkins and her husband own the building next door. They plan on living upstairs and opening a French bistro downstairs.

“When we first bought it three years ago we were thinking we were crazy and now we are so glad that we just did it,” said Wilkins.

Also coming soon to the area, a DiVolio Olive Oil restaurant and Ocean, a seafood restaurant owned by the same people who run Shango in the University District.

Wilkins said, “So this will be restaurant row with outdoor seating and a new road; it’s going to be wonderful.”

The city says work to return cars to this section of Main Street isn’t expected to wrap up until the fall but most of these restaurants could open by this summer.

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