Buffalo's next über cool infill development, slated for a key corner in the Fruit Belt, was approved by the City Planning Board on Tuesday. SweetPea Market may soon be under construction at High and Maple streets, steps from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Check out the following site plans filed with the City Planning Board.
The project is being undertaken by the St. John Fruit Belt Community Development Corp., and is designed by eco_logic STUDIO. The renderings, which reveal a green roof, solar panel array, and spacious patio, would likely rival any grocery in Seattle or Austin. If built, the project could raise the bar on East Side infill projects, which rarely add value to surrounding neighborhoods. But there's a downside.
photo courtesy of Joe Cascio
The project includes demolition of the historic 204 High St., built in 1871, which I have written about here, here, here, and here. Buffalo Spree and WBFO have covered an ongoing preservation conversation about the house. A hearing before the Preservation Board has not yet been scheduled, but it surely will be.
The proposed demolition is callous and unnecessary. The Fruit Belt lost 85% of its population from 1950 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census, and probably as much of its historic building stock. A good project can incorporate both the past and future of the Fruit Belt. This is feasible. A project by Help USA slated for Broadway and Hickory streets, only a few blocks away, will incorporate the facade of 362 Broadway (google map).
Stay tuned. Readers of fixBuffalo will be among the first to know when they can address the Preservation Board about the future of 204 High Street.