CNU Visit Should Be A Wake Up Call For Buffalo

With The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) in town this week I thought I would dig up an old related story and repost it. This post features a video by CNU founder Andres Duany, which speaks to the heart of what we do wrong in building our human habitat. It is an important lesson to absorb.

Many see this Congress as an oportunity to showcase how nice Buffalo is. But in truth, the people coming to the CNU convention are keenly aware fo the failures of modern American city design. They are going to be very focused on the blatant failures of Buffalo (see Bacon’s Rebellion). They are many and the critiques are already showing up on the internet. Sure they will see some of the good; they will recognizes the potential. But their takeaway is going to be, that Buffalo has a lot to do to make istelf whole again.

The real benefit that this CNU convention will bring to Buffalo is not as a showcase, but as an opportunity for local officials to get a dose of reality and hear what the top thinkers in urban design are saying about how cities need to be designed. The harsh reality is that Buffalo has been doing it wrong and still is. Before coming to the convention I emailed a few dozen top local elected and planning officials to see if any were going to be in attendence. While a majority have not yet responeded I was heartened to get a reply from a few important players. I hope to talk with them during and after the conference to get their take away. Take a look at this video and send it on to your local officials. Make the video below required viewing…


 

Some will pout that this is just another snobby city versus suburb post.  The kind of post they often claim BRO likes to favor, which pits so-called Elmwood urban “hipsters” against God fearing people who “choose” to live in the suburbs, clinging to their cars in fear that the city liberals will soon try to take them away. And there could be some of that here, I suppose, if you see this as a confrontation rather than a discussion on how our country needs to rethink itself.

Anyone reading my posts over the last 4 years or so knows I am no fan of suburbs. To be more accurate though, it is the sprawl that I am against.  To me sprawl is possibly the worst concept ever developed by mankind, and it is not exclusive to the suburbs. Land use within the city of Buffalo and its urban inner ring suburbs is increasingly sprawl based.  As development pushes further into the outer rural county, the inner county has thinned drastically.

photo-parkingThe built up area of 2009 metro Buffalo occupies more than 2 times the land it did in 1955 even though the population is approximately the same.

Even as Metro Buffalo decreases in population its built area continues to increase.

The result is a huge excess of infrastructure and a desperately poor city of Buffalo with an inner city East Side approaching the same extreme low density-land use as Clarence.  Parts of North Buffalo now house many giant car base big box stores mimicking Amherst and Cheektowaga. Even Kenmore, a quite “urban” suburban village has given in to sprawl, allowing car based development to eat away at its charming Delaware Avenue retail strip. The issue of sprawl and its destructive nature is not a city versus suburbs issue.

It is an issue of society in general.

I was spurred to write this story from comments posted in this recent BRO story about a new renovation/addition at a site on the near East Side. The building site was once a very densely built area with many mixed uses housed in a variety of buildings dating from the Civil War to the early 1900′s.

Over the last 40 years, the neighborhood has been mostly relocated to a garbage dump.  What remains are scattered buildings among parking lots and grassy fields.  Commerce and people are rare here.

sprawl1.jpeg

I commented early in the thread that I felt sad that several of the images shown in the story looked like a construction site in Clarence, which it did.  Some readers jumped in quickly with comments that they were offended by my constant critical attitude toward Clarence, the architecture of the project, etc.

Actually, my comment had nothing to do with the architecture and was not so much about Clarence as it was about my sadness at the loss of urbanism in this part of the city.  Others fully understood what I meant, and resulted in a very long comment stream discussing urbanism and sprawl.   Commenter SinIill posted a link to the wonderful video below.  It provides a great explanation of the failures of suburban style sprawl development over the last 50 years and the benefits of tried and true urban development patterns developed over centuries.

The link is the first of 9 segments of a lecture by well-known “new urbanist” Andres Duany. Duany is an architect and planner who has made his career designing and promoting what has been dubbed “new Urbanism,” but is really old urbanism or a system of urban development and design which is geared toward the social needs and tendencies of the human animal rather than that of cars.

photo-build-noNew urbanism has become linked with the concept of designing buildings to mimic historic architectural styles.  This is a shallow interpretation of a system of thinking and designing that takes into account how people actually react to space and land use.  I encourage you to watch all nine segments of the lecture before you comment here.  Duany’s insights into human nature and how our built environment affects us is compelling.  I believe, along with a growing number of others more important than me, that we cannot sustain the wasteful and environmentally destructive pattern of sprawl that is the norm in America.  This lecture is a roadmap to how we can make a more sustainable, livable, and economically viable nation.  So far, most don’t understand that there is an alternative to sprawl.

Few realize that sprawl is built into our laws, and probably fewer can explain why.  Billions spent on highways wins out over billions on medical research, Destroy the environment rather than cut consumption of fossil fuels with logical land use policy.  Eliminate irreplaceable historic buildings in favor of cookiecutter corporate buildings designed with a 10-year life span.  Our society has locked itself in a dangerous downward spiral to protect a system of development that is hard to defend.

This lecture should be required viewing for everyone in our country–in my humble opinion.  Watch it, and see if you don’t agree.

Steel-Lot-Buffalo-NY

 

About the author  ⁄ STEEL

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste, advocate for a better way of doing things.

221 comments
arcmorris
arcmorris

I was at the CNU conference last week.  I thought that Elmwood, Allentown and the Delaware District looked great.  Even the far west-side is looking hopeful.  As for downtown, the biggest short-to-mid term thing that the City could do is to improve the pedestrian environment (trees, wider sidewalks, paving, lighting.  A lot of the infrastructure in downtown looks worn out.  Development will accelerate if we make DT more attractive for pedestrians.


Pegger
Pegger

Black Rock Lifer: Do you feel as honored as I do to have our comments of nearly 5 years ago reposted here?

kingofbuffalo
kingofbuffalo

Stop raining on the parade STEEL. There's a lot going on in Buffalo a city STARVED for development and renewal.  I'm not offended (this time) with your negative comments but your timing is bad. I stopped reading because, actually, your post is boring me. Save it for another time when I'm not so excited about what's happening around my town.

Pegger
Pegger

I agree w/ the arguments that STEEL presents concerning the unfairness and waste when it comes to the infrastructure that makes urban sprawl possible. There is barely an argument against some of his assertions. And, obviously (from the numerous and often vitriolic responses the topic generates), it is an emotionally charged subject.

But his focus is far too narrow.

Embedded in the 208 contributions so far lay many great ideas that speak to the complexities of urban sprawl as a nation wide phenomenon unique to the latter half of the last century. It was a demographic shift of monumental proportions that pushed and pulled every aspect of American life-from the way lived to the way we saw ourselves and even to the way we worshipped-everything changed. There are volumes written about how our technology alone influenced our day-to-day living. Or simply how we used money and prosperity! The G.I. Bill. Gov't policies.

Complex, not simple. Urban sprawl was caught up as just another outcome of rapid change. It did not occur in a vacuum.

There just isn't a simple cause and effect path to follow here. But the results of it are here. It is neither inherently good or bad. It's just the outcome of other changes that happened over time. So,  think we need to focus on how to deal with it now.

300miles
300miles

"They are going to be very focused on the blatant failures of Buffalo.  They are many and the critiques are already showing up on the internet"

I really hope they do dish out the criticism, and I really hope our politicians and local developers hear it. The last thing we need is them hearing how everything is perfect with no room for major improvements.

LouisTully
LouisTully

@BeardedBuffalonian  Dude you're just, like, wow!  I bet you were a blast to go downrange with.  Just a blast.  "Hey guys, I bet we'll hit an IED today and all lose our legs.  But it's ok, 'cause I'll be there, too!  BOOM MIND BLOWN

ironliege
ironliege

Two comments regarding the impetus for sprawl in the mid-20th century. After World War II vets were given generous, and deserving, mortgages provided they were used for new housing rather than existing homes. Buffalo was nearly fully developed by that time so the suburbs grew dramatically.

Another oft-overlooked concern was the threat of a nuclear exchange because of the intense Cold War. While cleaning my attic I discovered a copy of the Buffalo News from the early 1950's with the front page dedicated to the effects of a nuclear weapon exploding over City Hall - the graphic was quite remarkable. The government encouraged the outward movement of populations away from city centers in the event the urban districts were annihilated. Let's not forget the primary purpose of the Interstate Highway system was to provide evacuation routes out of metropolitan regions in the event of war. That same system of highways only expedited the outward housing sprawl.

BeardedBuffalonian
BeardedBuffalonian

I find 90 percent of the comments on here pure hypocrisy. People want to live in the suburbs for the below reasons....


1. Crime in the city is high

2. Schools suck

3. People would rather live around people of their own socioeconomic status

4. Services in the city are terrible

5. People want land


......and too judge them for their choices is purely asinine and makes you all look like fools.


No_Illusions
No_Illusions

Well the question remains...how do you create dense neighborhoods when population is on Decline?

Before those strip malls in North Buffalo there were abandoned warehouses.

Which is worse? Acres of blighted land or strip malls that were the only thing that could clean up this land and return it to the tax rolls?

My point is what good is dense development if there is no population to support it? All you get is blight and abandonment instead. Should we have let all those houses on the East side to rot and be a public hazard instead of demolishing them?

Michael DiPasquale
Michael DiPasquale

The City needs to add capacity to its Planning Department. Needs more urban designers, and  more staff in general with a range of skills. And they need to be left alone, away from politics to get their job done.



BeardedBuffalonian
BeardedBuffalonian

What a joke, they visited more suburban sites than they did city cites.

elmdog
elmdog

I am really glad that the CNU is here but I am sure and hopeful that the powers at be no whats wrong with the city...It comes down to ...to many parking lots, most of the streets in the city are either tooo many lanes and or one way...lack of good paying jobs and many years of really bad decisions..


So...fix it

reflip
reflip

Just to keep things acrimonious, I'll add my two cents about this inspired rant from Really?:

It's self-important and thoughtless finger-pointing masquerading as analysis. But, what it lacks in meaningful perspective and intelligence, it more than makes up for in length.

The fact that other people are viewing it as a new 95 Theses just proves that there is no hope for Erie County. We are intractably stuck in a mid-20th century mindset. Really?, your post is proof: We lack progressive vision and leadership because of you, not despite you.

But I'm glad you posted it! I think I now understand Buffalo.

Dan Blather
Dan Blather

@ironliege Other factors too - rising wages (blue collar workers could afford to move out of places like the Lower East Side and the First Ward), automobile ownership (many older cottage neighborhoods have no off-street parking), functionally obsolete housing (shotgun floorplans, no delineation of private and public rooms, central space heaters, etc), and overcrowding.  Heavy industry and railroad traffic were also still active throughout in the city, and fewer desired to live close by.

When folks left the city, the houses left behind didn't stay empty forever.  They were sold or rented to other families  If the housing had some functional obsolescence issue, they experienced a succession of increasingly less affluent occupants -  planners and housing policy researchers call it "housing filtration".  (Not including urban renewal, of course.)

We look through the issues of the 1940s and 1950s with the eyes of the 2010s. It was a much different era, with much different conditions.

And before I'm accounted of being anti-urban, I'm a CNU member, and attending the conference.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

That's correct, when my father and uncles returned from WWII they wanted to stay in Black Rock but mortgages were very difficult to obtain on older city homes. My father saved enough to buy a house for cash but my uncles moved out to Kenmore, Amherst, and Grand Island.  Then to add insult to injury highways were rammed through the heart of old city neighborhoods greatly damaging the fabric and quality of life.

Publius V Publicola
Publius V Publicola

@BeardedBuffalonian Let's count how stupid your reasons are:

1. Crime in the city is high Only in certain neighborhoods

2. Schools suck Only certain schools

3. People would rather live around people of their own socioeconomic status 

4. Services in the city are terrible That's not true at all

5. People want land That's not true at all, especially now

Dude, get out of 1975, or your suburban cul-de-sac. Wake up.


David Steele
David Steele

It is not about location it is about how we bild in that location. Who we build has nothing to do with any of your excuses. I have said this over and over but you don't want to hear it so that you can stay mired in your lame 20th century mentality.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

1. Crime is only high in certain neighborhoods, most areas have only minor issues.

2. Schools are a reflection of the concentrated poverty, they don't "suck". For those willing to make the effort and do the hard work Buffalo Public offers many quality choices.

3. Self segregation can breed arrogance and ignorance and removes any incentive to address poverty in our society.  Also poverty is no longer contained within the city, the same problems are now affecting the older suburbs.

4. Services in the city are just fine, I have not had a problem, not sure what you mean.

5. Lots of land in the city, many big lots as well.

"and to judge them for their choices is purely asinine and makes you all look like fools"  Funny, we in the city are judged all the time for our "choice". I can't tell you how many times I have had to defend my choice of staying and raising my children in Black Rock.

DylanBurns
DylanBurns

@No_Illusions I'd just like to point out that the population decline is nearly stopped, and potentially back on the incline in the city, according to the latest census.  What we have seen happening and what needs to continue happening, is the rehabilitation of existing downtown structures to incorporate residential units above 1st floor commercial units.  This brings small scale retail and a higher population all in the same mix.  Once existing buildings are largely rehabilitated, the best outcome would be infill of a similar style on the empty lots.  I don't know if this answers your question, but it's what is happening and if continued would see the rise of a populace that could support these types of moderately dense neighborhoods.

David Steele
David Steele

I have recently been to several highly vibrant small cities. They are vibrant and attractive because they do not waste their resources on sprawl and are not satisfied with the lame environment if sprawl. Buffalo has accepted the mediocrity of sprawl and the results are plain to see.

LouisTully
LouisTully

@Michael DiPasquale But...

I'm reading about industry's role in the New York City economy and the city's urban fabric.  It sounds like its decline was a case of too much planning.  I'm leery of over-planning.  Organic growth produces best results and strongest urban economies.

LouisTully
LouisTully

@BeardedBuffalonian @LouisTully  I'll compare stats with you on friends who were casualties if you want.  You're dodging my comment that you're a cloud of misery know-it-all who never has anything good to say.  Can't spell either.

BeardedBuffalonian
BeardedBuffalonian

@Dan Blather @ironliege 

Dan, I like your comment about "housing filtration." I never in a million years would have considered that term an actual term used to define what happened during some of the darker days in Buffalo's past.

Pegger
Pegger

@Black Rock Lifer Do you feel as honored as I do to have a nearly five year old comment posted here? Scroll way down!

whateverr
whateverr

@Publius V Publicola

pub>"That's not true at all, especially now Dude, get out of 1975, or your suburban cul-de-sac. Wake up."

But if it's 'not true at all' that 'People want land', then I'd wonder why in Erie County the total non-Buffalo population is growing from 2010 to 2013.  Wouldn't it be shrinking due to a net loss of people moving away from burbs into the city to have less land?

http://wivb.com/2014/05/22/suburbs-gain-buffalo-loses-in-latest-census-figures/

Suburbs gain, Buffalo loses in latest census figuresPublished: May 22, 2014

The city of Buffalo continues to see more people moving out than moving in, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The city lost 2,351 people from April 2010 to July 2013, dropping its population to 258,959.  The city of Niagara Falls lost 725 people during that same time, seeing its population dip below 50,000 to 49,468.

But while both cities lost people, several large suburbs gained population. Buffalo’s largest suburb, Amherst, led the way, adding 1,397 people. Its population in April 2010 was 122,366. By July 2013, it had grown to 123,763. Several suburbs in the Southtowns also experienced gains. The town of Hamburg grew by 682 people to 57,618. Orchard Park added 363 people, growing to 29,417.  North of Buffalo, Grand Island added 303 people since April 2010. ..."

Amherst +1,397 estimated by Census since 2010, Hamburg +682, Orchard Park +363, Grand Island +303. 

Thousands in net gains in our burbs are showing land is wanted, such as in those example burbs WIVB mentioned.

I'm not judging whether it's good or bad that they want land, just saying it seems many still do... so your "not true at all" looks very overstated.  I don't think Bearded's comment was saying literally everybody wants land, just that it is often wanted.

BeardedBuffalonian
BeardedBuffalonian

@Publius V Publicola @BeardedBuffalonian 

1. Crime is more rampent in certain parts of the city than others, that's true. But overall city crime is much higher than suburban crime.

2. The average graduation rate in Buffalo is 47 percent. The national average is 75 percent! Lol. You're comment should read, "Only a handful of schools are good."

3. No argument from you there....your best comment.

4. They are. Snow plowing is terrible, police response times are terrible, road repair is terrible, pot hole repair is terrible. Garbage pickup is actual rather good though.

5. Is that why most expensive neighborhoods in the city have large lots with houses set back from street? Also, see Rands comments about the coulple who moved from NYC because they had no outdoor greenspace.

BeardedBuffalonian
BeardedBuffalonian

@Black Rock Lifer 

1. Crime is all over the city, car break-ins on Allen, lady gets punched in the face and robbed on Elmwood. Ladies dogs are stolen as she's walking down the stree on Richmond. Gang violence and shoot outs on the east side et etc

2. The graduation rate is below 50 percent, so yeah they do suck.

3. That's just a dumb comments and stinks of your self-righteous attitude.

4. You've never lived outside the city, so how would you ever know? You preach on here all day about how you've lived in the city your whole life, lol. That's like me saying the weather in Spain is terrible, when I've never been there.

5. You're right, there's tons of vacant lots, lol. Also, to get a decent lot in the city you have to pay BIIIIIIG money. We're talking 300k plus.

" I can't tell you how many times I have had to defend my choice of staying and raising my children in Black Rock."

That's great for you. I think BlackRock is a hole, too. But, if you chose to raise your kids there good for you. Ps someone was just shot to death in black rock a couple weeks ago.

whateverr
whateverr

@DylanBurns @No_Illusions

dylan>'potentially back on the incline in the city, according to the latest census'

Maybe at some point might start inclining, but hasn't so far since 2010 to 2013, according to latest Census estimates.

2010 

count for Erie County 919,064 

count for Buffalo 261,310 = 28.4% of county

count non-city (county minus Buffalo) 657,754 = 71.6% of county

2013 

est for Erie County 919,866

est for Buffalo 259,384 = 28.1% of county, and down 0.7% vs 2010 city count

non-city est (county minus Buffalo) 660,482 = 72.9% of county

ref city here … and ref county 

Buffalo estimated by Census to still be declining in both population (-0.7%) and as portion of Erie County's population (-0.3%) from 2010 to 2013.

Projecting those rates if continued over whole decade 2010 to 2020 would say declining 2.3% in city pop or drop by 6,000 people (which would still mean many demolitions even though much less drop than 10.8% 2000 to 2010), while dropping 1% as portion of the county (which is under half of city's 2000 to 2010 drop in portion of county at 2.4%).

In 2000 counts, city portion was 30.8% (= 292,648 in city divide by 950,265 in county)

So the 2000 to 2010 decline as portion of county was 30.8% to 28.4% = 2.4%.

No_Illusions
No_Illusions

Yes, this is true and very exciting that we can focus on density in popular neighborhoods again. However, its going to take a long time to fill out the city again. Especially the large tracts of blight on the East side and sprawling former industrial sites.

We can start slow, but filling out the city with density in mind will take half a century or longer at this rate.

What do we do with the East side in the mean time when the demand is not high enough yet? Do we just leave it for abandon until that time?

No_Illusions
No_Illusions

Yes, but none of those cities lost 400,000 people.

My point is what would be your solution?

Relocate people in rapidly declining neighborhoods to stable ones and fence off a large section of the city for posterity?

Fence off those abandoned North Buffalo warehouses until a time demand dictates they can be rehabbed?

How would you have responded to suburbanization and globalism?

Even NYC lost population in the 1980s. Stemming the tide seems to be nearly impossible.

DylanBurns
DylanBurns

@BeardedBuffalonian @elmdog Agreed. There are several good schools in the city, but many are performing poorly - which is really more indicative of the home life and work habits of the students, than the school itself.  For students that have trouble at home of are not inspired to care about school, the best school in the world could still have no effect.  

Anyways, elmdog is not wrong.  The urban fabric is an important factor in the evolution of the city, and this saturation of parking lots in the urban core is doing nothing to help.  We will find that the continued progress of the city will be marked by the steady building upon empty sites of those occupied by parking lots.


LouisTully
LouisTully

@BeardedBuffalonian @Publius V Publicola I emailed the Director of Streets last night at 5:30PM to have a street sweeper clean the alley behind my house.  Response from the director and street sweeping complete by 10:00AM this morning.

robins36
robins36

@BeardedBuffalonian @Black Rock Lifer My goodness Bearded, you rail against the characterization of suburbanites on this website as close-minded and want us to withhold judgement, yet you make sweeping generalizations about the city with total disregard to the good people that live there (like Black Rock Lifer). 

If you want people on here to stop being biased against the suburbs, perhaps you shouldn't keep perpetuating a bias against the city.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

1. Crime is not limited to the city, most of us don't live in fear, just being a little street smart and proactive can reduce the risk. BTW, I have never been the victim of a crrime nor have any of my family members.

2. My four children attended Buffalo Public and out performed their suburban cousins, the schools worked for me. 

3. You obviously were not paying attention in Sunday school, no suprise here.

4. I have lived in other places and have traveled all over the country, not that it really matters.

5.  Many big lots all over the city, Black Rock has many deep lots, especially here in the historic core.

Your opinion of Black Rock reveals a basic ignorance and arrogance. Rocco Termini has 3 major projects in Black Rock, he must have not gotten your message.  Amherst St continues to attract investment, real estate values in the business district and here in the Market Square Historic District continue to rise. Many people recognize the potential in Black Rock, just because you can't see it doesn't mean squat.

DylanBurns
DylanBurns

@whateverr @DylanBurns @No_Illusions Very true, and it's good to see the numbers again.  I think it's just being looked at wrong.  Population is not a linear progression, whether increasing or decreasing.  We can't look at the loss of population between the last two censuses and say that that same rate will continue over the next 6 years.  

I was mistaken that the population loss has turned around, but in relation to the population lost in the past, we're on the brink of turning around.  The next census will be an interesting one!  

whateverr
whateverr

@DylanBurns @No_Illusions

Opps, one math goof above is the % on non-city portion should say 71.9% for 2013, not the 72.9% I typed.

Anyhow, I think my comment above generally supports the points no_ill is making.  

City estimated to have dropped by 1,926 people since just 2010 and on pace to drop a little over 6,000 by 2020 if estimates accurate and same pace continues.  

It's a slower dropping for sure compared to previous 5 decades, so could indicate at least a leveling off finally.  Time will tell.  But still as of now it's  a continuing growth of vacant units and less populated blocks, etc. in some parts of city.

At the Census figure of 2.25 persons per household in Buffalo, the 1,926 person estimated drop so far means 856 fewer units occupied in city as of 2013 compared to 2010.  And a 6,000 person drop by 2020 would mean 2,667 fewer occupied units by then compared to 2010.

DylanBurns
DylanBurns

@No_Illusions I wish I had an idea for that.  What seems to be happening on much of the east side is that neighborhoods are slowly started to cluster into enclaves.  Some are centered around a similar population, like several blocks of Bengali immigrants just east of Fillmore, or similar situations.  From what I've seen, other enclaves are created simply due to where there is housing stock left.  Streets that have the majority of their houses still there are somewhat holding constant, whereas others that have lost most of their houses don't see many people who want to stay, losing more houses.

It's hard to say that it should just be left, because it shouldn't.  I think that much of what happens there until housing demand increases enough to infill, will revolve around individual efforts or tendencies.  This clustering of people can help to preserve a neighborhood and, tied in with street redevelopment like along Fillmore, can do a lot to bring back a neighborhood or at least hold it steady.

It is just my belief that the downtown core should receive a majority of the focus of funding and development until it takes off.  If we centralize our focus, it becomes easier to spread out, following the radial plan in a sense.

HamlinParkRugger
HamlinParkRugger

@No_Illusions That's what Youngstown, Ohio did.  Fenced of entire parts of the town.  Not sure if its a better approach, but its been done.

BeardedBuffalonian
BeardedBuffalonian

@Black Rock Lifer 

1. Once again, random generalization, based off of opinion. Check out where the vast majority of crime is located.

http://spotcrime.com/ny/buffalo

2. I know, I know, I know, you tell us every time blah blah blah blah blah. Your children also attended the top schools in the city (which there are few). So congratulations, your kids went to a top city school. Next time send them to Bennett and see how good they do.

3. Yup, that comments stunk of your self-righteous attitude, too.

4. That's funny for years you've only talked about living in Blackrock and nowhere else? So tell me this, Scott. Where else have you lived for a long period of time?

5. Ummmm actually there's not. You have the Delaware Park area and some places in South Buffalo, but that's about it. Also, deep lots and large lots are not the same thing.


If Black Rock (Crack Rock) is so great, how come the average home price is below 50K? I mean, that's almost a third what the average home price in Erie County is (ouch).

whateverr
whateverr

@DylanBurns 

Agreed, next 6 years could continue slowing by even more, or starting to rise. 

Although OTOH, if part of root causes has been the deep recession causing pause in domestic migration overall in the nation... then it's possible the metro area as a whole might revert to something like 2000-2007 trends.  

Another big unknown is if the influx of immigrants from Burma/etc will continue at the same pace to Buffalo as in recent years - something the federal govt decides.  If that either quickens or slows it can have a big impact.  Buffalo's % of Asian population population more than doubled from 2000 to 2010, from 4,093/1.4% to 8,409/3.2%.  

So, splitting the difference among all those possibilities I used hypothetical of continued estimated pace.  All far from certain.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

I think your attitude displays a typical anti-city arrogance, I can see why someone would assume you didn't live here.

Dan Blather
Dan Blather

> If Black Rock (Crack Rock) is so great, how come the average home price is below 50K? 

Black Rock might not be great by your standards,  but BLR may see things differently.  For some, "home" means a building.  For others, it means a place.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

1. That website reveals very low crime in the Market Square area.

2. My children attended many different schools, not all "top schools". My point is it can be done.

3. Lets compare comment history, then lets see who has an attitude.

4. Lived in a small town for awhile, in Allentown, and the West Side, so what?

5. Moving the goalposts

Wow, Crack Rock, thats clever, come up with that on your own or did a 7th grader help? I wonder why Mark Goldman choose Black Rock for his very successful restaurant? he must not be as smart as you. I wonder why Delish moved here from Elmwood or why the Phoenix Restaurant choose Amherst St? I wonder why Wegmans is expanding here or why the Sportmans Tavern just completed a large investment and expansion? Finally, my 3 new neighbors that just paid over 100k for their homes here in the Market Square apparently didn't have your great wisdom.

Gotta go, I better call Rocco Termini, Mark Goldman, and all the other investors to tell them the all knowing Bearded Buffaloian says Black Rock is a "hole".

DylanBurns
DylanBurns

@whateverr There's certainly an endless amount of factors!  I always like to appreciate the positive ones though, because the negative ones are well known and too often control the conversation.  For example, with the Buffalo Billion encouraging and directly bringing developing businesses to the city, people will follow.  Also, all of these downtown buildings being rehabbed, often incorporating many residential units, show that people are moving from the region to the city. If there wasn't the demand, it wouldn't be done.  Sure, there's still the issue that as downtown is on the rise, there are still homes being demolished in other parts of the city, but we cannot force anyone to move to this areas.  There can be incentives like $1 homes and credits, but that can only do so much.

Anyways, I'm getting a little off topic.  There's been so many reports recently about the wonderful aspects of the city and there's clearly a desire to live here, so I am nothing but hopeful!

BeardedBuffalonian
BeardedBuffalonian

@Dan Blather 

You're def correct and I commend hims for sticking it out in a less than stellar neighborhood. I think that speaks a lot to his character as an individual. Buuuuut, to constantly drone on about one subjective opinion about a certain area and to constantly misrepresent the facts is pretty tiresome.

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