I had the chance to take a leisurely walk down the nearly-vacant 500 block of Main Street in Buffalo. That’s the section that’s bordered by M&T bank to the north, and the building that’s got Buffalo Business First to the south. Between these two businesses there are a slew of “For Lease” and “For Sale” signs, and little else. I did see a few sorry-looking discount stores, and I wish their proprietors well, but I have little doubt that their businesses are hanging on by a thread. The street is deserted of people.
Wow, did we screw up the downtown / subway thing.
The shining light is that the buildings themselves, even in disrepair, have beautiful facades. I do not know anything about the cost of urban development and I realize that cost might be a show-stopper, but their upper floors might make ideal places for condominiums and apartments. Getting people to actually live on the 500 block would make those storefronts immediately valuable.
But until that happens, the 500 block will not be an inviting place to bring visitors. Or your mother, either.