East Side could get its first new business–from the ground up–in years

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A local store owner would like to build a new convenience store-gas station combination on a large vacant lot at Broadway and Jefferson Ave., in Buffalo, and is asking the city’s Planning Board for permission.

If approved, the project would be the first new minority-owned business, built from the ground up, on the city’s East Side in many years. It would be the second East Side convenience store owned by Amed Saleh, who submitted his proposal to the Buffalo Planning Board, Monday afternoon.

Saleh owns and operates the Mandella Market at East Ferry St. and Jefferson Ave. The name was inspired by South African freedom fighter and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. Saleh opened the first store a little more than a year before Barack Obama was elected America’s African American president.

Now, Amed wants to grow, “I think it is the right time for Buffalo–Buffalo is booming now. It is the right time to build something, especially on the East Side. We don’t have anything.”

The East Side businessman went before Buffalo’s Planning Board, Monday afternoon, to gauge how much support he is going to get, or how stiff the opposition might be. Saleh said he has talked to neighbors about the project.

“They are very happy to see the vacant lot–if you look out at Broadway and Jefferson is now almost a ghost town. To light up the whole corner, it will be great, with the neighborhood.”

Saleh’s company is called the Zulu Corporation—Zulu is the South African tribe Mandela belonged to–and Amed wants to help bring up the East Side, just as Mandela helped improve conditions in his native country.

If approved, the new store on Broadway would be called Mandela’s Market, but when Saleh made his presentation to the Buffalo Zoning Board, his proposal was tabled.

Board members called for a few landscaping and infrastructure changes, and Saleh plans to discuss those alterations so they can present a revised plan at the Planning Board’s next meeting.

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