12/11/2009

InLighten to Canal St.?

Posted by MJ



Some exciting news for DT/Canal St is being reported in the LUSJ and The Buffalo News. InLighten is considering Canal St for relocation. It is always very interesting to find out about WNY businesses that would otherwise be under the collective radar. It's more exciting when they want to capitalize on current trends of operating out of historic buildings and adding to/parking in the vitality an urban area offers. All the better when it's considering DT Lockport. It's been happening in Buffalo for the last several year's.

Currently operating out of newer leased space on Walden Ave in Depew they are currently looking for their own space:

"Any relocation of inLighten would have to consider how it impacts our growing team of employees and their families," said Dan Snyder, president and founder. "We are searching for a community that recognizes the great opportunity inLighten offers and is willing to work with the company through a relocation and the future growth of our company." ....
...The company was looking at a privately owned site in Lockport, but Tucker said that deal fell through and he stepped in to try to keep inLighten from going elsewhere.
"They were looking for a community like ours. They wanted to be downtown so their employees could walk around," Tucker said.

With its non continuous street frontage and its biggest building having no real street presence. I had doubts with Canal St attaining any high retail use or street level activity. This presents a great opportunity to add workers downtown who will be able to walk to places like Chet's, Tom's, Daily Grind, India Grill etc. No more having to hop into your car to race to a BK (though it would still be an option ;). Add to that Lunch time walks along the canal etc and you start to offer your employees more than a cubicle and a parking lot with tress for their work life.

Watch out on the parking. The land on the other side of Gooding is a waste and prime for canal visitor/worker parking. All Saints lot is a block north and only really used for church services a couple times a week. Perhaps the church would like a few bucks for overflow parking? Non-planned single use parking will kill the whole reason for locating in a DT area. Perhaps this will add some credence to the ramp proposal.

Another bonus is the possible leasing of space at Harrison Place:
Tucker said a rental of some space in Harrison Place, the city-owned former Harrison Radiator Division plant, is part of the deal. He said inLighten would need that space for warehousing and perhaps for manufacturing.

With places like Yahoo coming just outside the city limits, InLighten a possibility, MTC already on Main St what is the plan to get workers to want to invest in the city?

And speaking of MTC, perhaps they could make a phone call or two InLighten? Nothing like word of mouth from your contemporaries who have already done what is being considered.

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