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DESIGNS FLORIST RELOCATES, JUST PASTA WILL EXPAND

Classical music and news reports have given way to live plants and cut flowers with the opening of a florist shop in the long-time home of WEBR-AM and WNED-FM.

Designs, a floral boutique that had been located at the corner of Bryant Street and Ashland Avenue in Buffalo, has relocated to the former broadcasting studio at 23 North St., in the Allentown section of the city.

Dan Lowrie, owner and manager of Designs, has purchased the 100-plus-year-old former mansion.

"I really love doing business in the city, so even though we have a lot of suburban customers, I'm excited about staying in Buffalo," Lowrie said.

The relocation of Designs clears the way for a planned expansion project at Just Pasta, the former next door neighbor of the flower shop at 307 Bryant St.

Owners of the popular eatery plan to take over the former Designs space to put in a bar and enlarge the dining room. Pending city approval, that remodeling project is expected to get under way in the next few weeks.

Designs is currently occupying the first and second floors of the historic North Street structure, but the new owner has plans to lease out the back section of the building for a business tenant and to remodel the third floor for residential use.

The two radio stations vacated the building in 1993 when Western New York Broadcasting moved to state-of-the-art quarters at Horizons Plaza on Lower Terrace, bringing its public radio and television operations under one roof.

The former radio station building initially was purchased by Trinity Lutheran Church, which was in the market for a parking area to serve its adjacent congregation. Lowrie purchased the building from the church, which will continue to own the parking lot.

On the city's West Side, a "for sale" sign continues to hang on the front door of 147 Barton St., the former home of public television stations WNED-TV and sister station WNEQ-TV. Prior to serving as the local home of public television, the century-old Barton Street building was a rug-cleaning plant.

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