BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Another of block of Main Street is almost ready for cars to share the road with the Metro Rail.
“Well it’s key to Main Street becoming successful again.” said Joe Incao who just opened a business on the block.”You saw what happened on the 600 block when it opened to traffic, spaces started filling in very quickly, so knowing the 500 block was gonna open, we felt it was prime time.”
Joe Incao grew up in Buffalo, but went on to be Vice President of retail for Prada in New York City. Now he’s back, opening the first store of his own, Furnishings, gift, home & You on the 500 block of Main Street, thirty years after cars were first diverted off by the Metro Rail.
“I was working in LL Berger in this very room where we’re standing selling shoes in 1980 something. Ten years ago, if somebody said I’d be living in Buffalo I would’ve laughed them off the planet, but things have really changed dramatically in the past couple years.”
Now that car traffic is coming back, a D’Avolio Restaurant just opened on the block. A French restaurant is coming soon, and a Canadian themed bar will open in a couple weeks.
Mayor Byron Brown says it has been a very good project for the city. “So far, there’s more than a three to one return for every public dollar spent, the private sector has spent more than three times as much.”
Angela Slowik lives downtown. “I’m so excited. I can’t wait for there to be extra parking and for foot traffic to increase. This is a very exciting time for Buffalo. I think it just goes to show that young people are coming back and they want to invest in the City.”
There is very little evidence of construction. The NFTA is still fine tuning a few things before train operators share the road with vehicles. Mayor Brown estimates that car traffic will officially be allowed to start using the street sometime in the first week of December.