Revitalization programs need to recognize, aid Lovejoy
The Lovejoy neighborhood wants to be a part of Buffalo’s resurgence. The business district is burdened with several empty storefronts and property owners who don’t have the capital to invest, and because of the outdated selling points, new small businesses do not see the potential.
The Buffalo Billion Main Street grant program offered storefront owners the opportunity to help make their properties more desirable. But the properties needing this the most were not able to participate due to the owners having to pay 100 percent of the renovations up front and wait to be reimbursed. The repairs necessary for most of Lovejoy’s storefronts are too costly and owners just don’t have the money.
It’s going to take a lot more then a government grant to bring resurgence to our community. Downtown has gone through a tremendous transformation and development companies are fighting over old buildings to renovate into loft apartments, shopping and restaurants. But wouldn’t it be awesome for these investors to use their money to invest in an entire neighborhood? The Lovejoy neighborhood is approximately 2 square miles and is surrounded by railroad tracks. It has at least 90 percent of its original housing stock, and 60 percent of the houses are owner-occupied. We have two museums, a historic fire station, an indoor city pool, our own library, a community center and many churches. We have a podiatrist and a chiropractor, local taverns and pizzerias. With Lovejoy Discovery School 43 now being designated as a “Community School” under superintendent Cash’s new educational bargain and also being located smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood and on the business strip, the school is becoming more desirable. Enrollment is up and more people are moving in. The neighborhood is prime for tremendous investment that will help support the residents’ goals to create a family friendly community. The stakeholders of Lovejoy have a vision and a plan and are ready to meet with potential investors who can help bring resurgence to this small east side neighborhood.