Plans to revitalize and revamp Buffalo’s Broadway Market revealed

A virtual public meeting hosted by CJS Architects, Public Market Development, and Developments by JEM was held on Wednesday, January 28, 2021 to reveal plans to revitalize Buffalo’s Broadway Market. Through funding provided by the New York State’s Buffalo Billion, the group worked on developing the plan over the last year.

The proposed changes, for one of the country’s oldest and largest city-owned public markets, include preserving and expanding the market’s best features while planning its evolution into a unique regional center for fresh and international foods.

“These recommendations – inspired by the successful revitalization of similar markets across the country – will help the Broadway Market proactively evolve as a year-round destination both locally and for visitors from across the region and beyond,” ESD Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler.

The final recommendations present the framework for a Broadway “International” Market, intended as a destination offering an array of ethnic and national foods – with the management structure, physical features and vendors to support its successful operation. The consultants’ outline will require the community, along with local and state governments and the nonprofit sector, to collaborate in support of a five-to-10-year implementation of the plan.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously committed $4 million in state funding through the Buffalo Billion for the Broadway Market. While the plan recommends the City of Buffalo retain ownership of the market, it calls for the establishment a new, not-for-profit entity to lease the building and manage the market.

With community input, the long-term plan for the market  is a road map of recommendations, covering everything from finances to structural adjustments.

Some highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Progressively utilizing the structure’s entire 547,000-square-feet for market uses, which currently equates to just 6% of its floor area;
  • Filling the market with fresh and ethnic food stalls and international groceries, as well as restaurants and prepared food stalls;
  • 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;
  • Transforming the third floor parking area into a community hub of activity;
  • The street level ramp parking area in the back of the market will taken away and used to extend the retail floor space of the building all the way to South Market St.
  • 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; and
  • Replacing problematic escalators with new freight and passenger elevators and improving parking garage areas so they are bright, attractive, safe, and accessible.

ESD contracted with CJS Architects in March to lead a team to develop comprehensive business and marketing plans for the revitalization of the Broadway Market. CJS Architects, along with Public Market Development (PDM) and Developments by JEM, have met with various focus groups to encourage involvement with and feedback to the planning process. More than 1,000 people provided contributions to the plan’s direction, via direct testimony, surveys and community meetings. Numerous prior studies were reviewed in detail.

As part of Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, $65 million was dedicated to the revitalization of Buffalo’s East Side through capital investments in nine target areas along four commercial corridors. As part of this funding, $4 million has been committed to begin transforming the Broadway Market into a sustainable and vibrant year-round shopping hub. The market historically has played an important role as a center for year-round, international, owner-operated, affordable fresh and prepared food shops and neighborhood services. As the community around it has changed, the market is now seeking to maximize its relevance to Broadway-Fillmore and to expand its customer base in order to serve as a sustainable stimulus to neighborhood development, as well as an attraction for the region.

You can read the full business plan by clicking here–>

Here are some of the renderings from the plan. Click on images for the full view.