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City ‘Pop-Up’ seeks to fill storefronts

City officials are launching the next round of their “Queen City Pop-Up” program, seeking small local retailers to fill up empty retail storefronts on Main Street for two months this spring, without rent.

Buffalo Urban Development Corp., together with Buffalo Place and Working for Downtown, is seeking businesses interested in participating in the effort, designed to help reinvigorate downtown shopping and jump-start empty space.

The initiative began during last year’s holiday season, using rent-free retail space that Sinatra & Company Realty provided in the historic Market Arcade Building at 617 Main St. Participants said their sales rose by more than 50 percent, as they gained exposure to more customers. This time, the Plaza Group is providing the rent-free space in the historic Pierce Building at 653 Main.

“We are excited to continue the Queen City Pop-Up program this spring,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Queen City Pop-Up, along with the Cars Sharing Main Street project, is part of the city’s commitment to bring retail back to Main Street.”

The city will conduct the program from May 1 to June 30.

Applications can be obtained from the BUDC office at 95 Perry St., by phone at 362-8373 or online at,, or

Proposals are due by 4 p.m. March 31 to Brandye M. Merriweather, the BUDC’s downtown development coordinator and manager.