8/15/2011Posted by MJ
The Buffalo News reported on the green light given to a proposed Aldi's in the economically depressed area near the Broadway Market in Buffalo.
...A month ago, city planners told Aldi's project manager to go back to the drawing board and revise his design so that the store is closer to the street and does not have parking in the front. The goal, planners said, is to foster pedestrian access.
When Project Manager Christopher V. Kambar presented revised blueprints today that moved the store 30 feet closer to Broadway and reduced the number of parking spots in the front lot from 21 to nine, Planning Board members said it wasn't good enough. The store would still be 60 feet from Broadway.
"It seems like no effort has been made," complained board member Frank A. Manuele, a former city planning director. "There has been lip service paid to moving the building a paltry few feet forward, and there's still parking in front."
Kambar, who is with the Victor-based firm of APD engineering & Architecture, said he struggled to find a compromise between Aldi's desired design and the site plan that city officials want....Even in this area of Buffalo where a vast number of residents own no personal transportation "parking in the front" is still pushed through like some necessity. This also somehow ignores the current Aldi's near LaSalle Metro Rail station on Main st in Buffalo which was built with no front parking. Somehow residents in older poorer neighborhoods miss out on a number of other small box stores around that are built to a higher design standards and site plans (see the new CVS in East Aurora which is built to the corner and has actual windows along the facade instead of bunker walls.). Does placing the same building at the street even cost anything more?
Maybe what these other places have is the willingness to institute design standards and stick by them. Being an older urban area such as "Lockport" should not preclude us from standing up for our selves and our built environment by demanding (thru code) a higher standard of building and site planning. We don't need to be the runt that us pushed around and told "be happy we are even here".
Create a quality environment and other quality projects will come. Allow everything to be built to the lowest common denominator and expect only more of it to come.
Current Aldi's on Main St.
Proposed Aldi's on Broadway
Somehow reality usually turns out much more oil-stained cracked black than the green space in picture makes you hope for.