AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Although it may not look like there is much redevelopment underway at the Boulevard Mall, there is a lot of work being done before shovels hit the ground on the 64-acre site, according to Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa.
“Look, this is a decade in the making, the property itself is enormous, we’re looking at ten years of development," said Kulpa.
Kulpa says he is working with Douglas Development and Benderson Development to design the infrastructure necessary to redevelop the land. They need to agree upon the sewer and storm drain outflows, utilities, and other elements necessary to create a "town center" as Douglas Jemal envisions it.
“I have a master plan that I’d like to accomplish, and basically raise the mall and make it a town center versus a mall with more interactive retail and residential and streetscape," Jemal told 7 News.
By the time all is said and done, the plan is to have more than one thousand residential units blended with brick and mortar retail. Kulpa estimates there could be between one thousand and two thousand residential units, which would be heavily occupied by college students.
Kulpa says demolition could begin in spring 2023. Jemal tells 7 News the entire project could be complete in three to five years.
“Needless to say, it has its challenges because there’s lease obligations with Macy’s and JC Penny’s, and there’s parking restrictions that exist over there," said Jemal.
Once demolition and construction does begin, the first phase of the redesign indicates a significant hole will be cut in the existing mall to pave the way for a road.
"What that does is allow for development to happen, especially on the mall’s periphery," said Kulpa.