BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The former Budwey’s grocery store in Buffalo could be transformed into a storage unit. However many neighbors in the University District don’t like it. Some feel as though the owner of Dash Markets let them down.
Bill Chipka and his wife are like many of the residents at Tuesday’s meeting, they walked to the grocery store.
In January, the Budwey’s on Kenmore Avenue was bought by Dash’s Market.
Now that’s its closed, Chipka said he has to walk 30 minutes to get to the closest grocer. “I’m 69-years-old. My wife is in her 70’s,” Chipka said. “We don’t mind walking, but still, it was a lot more convenient to be able to go to Budwey’s, which was comparatively about half of the distance,” he said.
Frank Budwey said he sold the store because he was losing money.
“Things were very good, up until the Price Rite opened on Kenmore Avenue,” Budwey said. “We lost 20 percent of our business when it opened.”
Budwey said after other stores in the area opened, his store lost even more business.
“It’s impossible for a supermarket today to survive under those conditions,” Budwey said.
Joe Dash, the owner of Dash Markets, said due to construction on Kenmore Avenue and low demand for a supermarket, it’s not financially viable to have a grocery store there in the future. “We need about 2,500 to 3,000 visits a day to survive in a store that size,” Dash said.
Dash said he put the property up for sale in May and didn’t get one offer to purchase or lease a retail or grocery store.
As a result, he wants to create an indoor-outdoor storage unit. The plan is to use the existing building and create additional exterior storage units.
The proposal isn’t finalized yet. It will go before the City’s planning board next.