As the first phase of a $16.3 million project aimed at dramatically changing a portion of Niagara Street that cuts through Buffalo’s lower West Side and some of its Black Rock neighborhood will soon get underway.
A news business called Kamila’s Urban Fashion, which specializes in handbags, watches, jewelry and fashion accessories opened at 490 Niagara Street in Buffalo, NY.
It’s owner, Desire Morales said she was encourage by the city to open on Niagara street and that she hoped to reach a niche market on the Westside and around the city looking for up to date fashion accessories.
Kamila’s Urban fashion in one of the many new businesses and project announced since the city and Congressman Higgins announced improvement to Avenida San Juan, along Buffalo’s Hispanic Corridor.
In all, it will take crews through the end of 2017 to complete the project that begins at Niagara Square north to Ontario Street, with the work done in four phases.
“It was a lot of dollars and it wasn’t easy to assemble,” Brown said.
A portion of the $16.3 million includes a $4.5 million allocation from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for a series of transit-based improvements, including building a 25-car park-and-ride lot at the corner of Niagara and Ontario streets where an abandoned gas station currently stands. The NFTA is adding revamped bus shelters, a community informational bulletin board and adding five compressed natural gas buses to the six routes that touch that stretch of Niagara Street.
“There will be a significant multiplier effect with this project that will fundamentally change an important street in downtown Buffalo,” Higgins said.
Niagara Street will be transformed from a busy four-lane roadway into a more park-like boulevard, similar to the changes being made along Ohio Street, which itself is undergoing an $11.3 million transformation that should be finished later this year.
“We want to calm the traffic down,” Brown said.
The street will have more landscaping, decorative street lighting and other pedestrian-friendly amenities.
Brown said he hopes the project spurs more private sector and residential development projects along Niagara Street.
The first phase of the project will run from Niagara Square to Virginia Street. The next phase will run from Virginia Street to Porter Avenue. Both of those phases should be completed by next year.
Next up will be specific intersection improvements near Rich Products worldwide headquarters, which was promised by Brown when the company went ahead with an $18 million makeover of the Rich Atrium complex.
The final phase will run from Porter Avenue to Ontario Street.