Woodlawn Row House - March 2007

I began documenting the declining condition of this City of Buffalo property in March 2004. Three years later...it's still wide open.
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On April 1, 2004 I sat down with John Hannon, Director of Real Estate for the City of Buffalo, and asked him to rescind the sale of this property. Despite getting three extensions to close the deal, it had been sitting dormant for just over a year. Guy bought the place for 7K and never closed the deal. My thinking was - still is - if you can't do the deal, get out of the way and let someone else step to the plate.

Last October after culling through dozens of emails - I routinely post City of Buffalo owned property to Craigslist - I located a group of investors. Invited them to Buffalo, had dinner with Antoine Thompson, local Council person and got really close to a deal. They stepped away recently yet we still have the local architect's feasability study which will help the next individual or group interested in taking on this project.

Remember, the Woodlawn Row Houses are directly across the street from the new home of Performing Arts HS - a 30m public investment in the arts and education. Here's the map...you can't get any closer.

Here's the archive - Woodlawn Row Houses - to see Buffalo's best example of 'demolition by neglect' of a City owned local-landmark. After 31 months of calling this to the City's attention, the place is still wide open. Suggestions? Let me know.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row Housesfaqmy flickr
the creativity exchange


Anonymous said...

Do you have a sense from the previous concept work how much it would cost to 1) acquire from the City, 2) stabilize, 3) renovate?

Anonymous said...

Did this group of investors you refer to give you a reason why they were stepping away from it?

fixBuffalo said...


The cost would be $1.

Depending on your plan - prices change. To keep as an existing 8 unit complex is significantly different than converting the place back to the original four units.

Keep in mind that the Woodlawn Row Houses are actually four different properties. The vinyl siding hides this fact.

I've always imagined these to be painted individually - you know different colors.

To do the project on the down-low you could 1)strip vinyl and paint, 2)secure three units and 3) work on one unit and gradually work your way to the last one.

Jefferson...they stepped away for a number of reasons and decided to re-focus on core biz. This included the recent purchase of a dozen two family houses around the City.

Anonymous said...

Will you be giving your east side /Artspace neighborhood tour on Saturday the 7th of April?

fixBuffalo said...


Yes...every Saturday...

Good news is that the Landmark Society will be adding my Artspace Backyard Neighborhood Tour to their tour offerings...still same price, free! Tips in the past have included post tour brick oven pizza!