Amherst Supervisor Updates Ongoing Economic Development Project
AMHERST, NY (WIVB) – Niagara Falls Boulevard and Sheridan Drive in Amherst are already busy commercial strips with malls, restaurants and living spaces, but even more development may soon be coming to these parts of town.
The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed economic growth across the country, but in Amherst, the city supervisor says he’s launching several new projects to redefine suburban living.
“What excites me the most is that we’re introducing new parks and green spaces alongside new business offerings, new jobs and new housing opportunities,” said City Supervisor Brian Kulpa. Amherst.
Some of the projects underway include the new Costco on Ridge Lea Road, which was announced in March, and the reimagining of the Boulevard Mall. Both projects plan to start next year. Kulpa says Costco will replace the old University at Buffalo annex. The area must be zoned and cleared of asbestos before the project can begin. The next step for the Boulevard Mall project is to split the structure in two with new roads, which also requires new zoning.
The Station 12 project, which is the former Northtown Plaza, is also underway. This development has stalled during the pandemic, according to Kulpa. He says the city held firm with the developer and only extended permits on the project for six months. The city will not extend them again until they see the progress of the project at the end of the extension. The supervisor hopes local and national businesses, like Williams Sonoma and Banana Republic, will be able to move into the space by the end of the year.
“Reinvestment in sites that had remained inactive. Its good. It means our economy here in Amherst is strong,” Kulpa added.
Amherst devised an economic recovery plan in the early days of the pandemic, which allows them to move forward on these projects, despite the pushback of some townspeople.
Beyond storefronts, new housing developments and a new Amherst Medical Corridor on the city’s west side, which will include a new Roswell Park facility and a University at Buffalo orthopedic outpatient center, Kulpa says he’s very enthusiastic about redefining suburban living. He says the pandemic has acted as a catalyst to kick-start these new economic opportunities in Buffalo’s larger suburb.
“We are a bigger suburb than many cities. Redefining suburban living and what it means to be a thriving suburb and it starts right here in the town of Amherst,” concluded Kulpa.
The city hopes for new jobs and opportunities, as well as a new tax base for Amherst through new businesses.