From Suburban Paradise to Downtown "Eyesore"

May 24, 2013 Updated May 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM EDT

By Mitch Simon
By John Borsa

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May 24, 2013 Updated May 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - A local architect devoted to downtown development is giving up his piece of suburban paradise to move into a building which some of his former neighbors call an eyesore.

Steve Carmina and his wife Brenda's dream home is in a row of rundown, dilapidated eyesores just across from the Hyatt Hotel in the heart of downtown Buffalo.

The first floor will house retail and the second floor will be where they live.

Steve, whose friends they they've gone off the deep end by making this move, is an architect who's designed and transformed some major historic projects downtown.

One of the biggest project was the Hotel at Lafayette. Downtown's renaissance convinced the couple it was time to make the move.

"We spend a lot of time down here on weekends, during the week, and at night," said Steven. "We have friends who live down here. There's a lot of accessibility to shops, restaurants, you have the theatre down here. So why not?"

Steve and Brenda are still trying to figure out how to squeeze 2,700 square-feet and four bedrooms down to a two-bedroom, loft-style city home.

When they move however, they will not be alone. Their neighbors live above soon-to-open french bistro.

"When we looked at each other and went into their apartment, which is beautiful, we said we can do this," said Steve. "That was kind of the deciding factor. When we saw their place and saw we can do this."

The Carminas say when it comes to parking and perceptions of crime and safety, they believe downtown is safe, and parking will not be a problem.