BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As the Broadway Market prepares for what's usually its busiest time of the year, there are new plans to revitalize it for the future. But how do we get there?
“We wanna help it get to where the rest of the city has gotten, it’s lagged behind and we wanna make sure the neighbors are involved,” said Amanda Mays, Regional Director of Empire State Development.
Using funding from the Buffalo Billion, the goal is to bring the market back to its glory days and attract some new visitors. Empire State Development released a list of final recommendations last week.
THIS MORNING:— Taylor Epps WKBW (@taylor_epps_) February 3, 2021
What's next for the Broadway Market? I spoke with @EmpireStateDev about what the next steps are to bring life back to this Broadway-Fillmore staple.
Watch this morning on @WKBW! pic.twitter.com/WOD6Ksj1ZS
“There’s about 7 million people a year who visit Niagara Falls I can see this being the second stop," said Aaron Zuretsky, Founding Principal, Public Market Development.
Zaretsky is a public market expert, he helped compile a list of suggestions to revitalize the market with ESD.
There are three main changes they want to make to make:
- How the market uses of space
- What the market looks like
- The diversity of vendors inside the market
Use of Space
Zaretsky says the market currently uses about 6% of its space. He says the market is wasting space on parking.
"The way to make it work is to fill that building up," said Zaretsky.
He suggests making the structure’s basement accessible and renovating it to serve the Market’s tenants by adding space for walk-in coolers, freezers, and storage, as well as building utilities, freeing up additional tenant space and for enticing displays.
As well as replacing problematic escalators with new freight and passenger elevators and improving parking garage areas so they are bright, attractive, safe, and accessible.
Broadway Market Makeover
"The building itself has the appearance of a fortress, part of what we’re proposing is to break through those walls and create storefronts that spill out onto the sidewalk," said Zaretsky.
This is what it could look like.
This would be addressing the street-level and allowing multiple points of entry with new restaurants and grocers that would activate and extend out along public sidewalk areas.
He also suggests changing the name to the Broadway International Public Market.
The Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood is home to people of more than 40 different ethnicities, according to ESD, but not all of those cultures are currently reflected in the market.
"You can find four to five different places to buy Polish foods, but nothing for the African American community, the South Asian community, the Muslim community," said Zaretsky.
The goal is to make the market a diverse, regional attraction, giving this entire community an economic boost.
"Those [new] people aren’t just going to shop at the Broadway market, they’re gonna shop in the broader neighborhood, they’re gonna create economic opportunities," said Zaretsky.
So, what's next?
Well, this is a $50 million project that could take four to five years to complete, according to ESD. Governer Andrew Cuomo already put $4 million toward the project. The state's next step is to get the city and Erie County involved, so they can work on raising the rest money together.
“We could enjoy it, everyone profits and that’s the best thing that can happen to the city,” said Frank Cadera, a resident of the Broadway-Fillmore area.
You can find the full business plan here.