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Common Council to review rezonings for Family Dollar, Larkinville lot

The Buffalo Common Council will consider a pair of zoning changes to allow a new Family Dollar store in the Fillmore District and a commercial development on a narrow sliver of former railroad land in Larkinville.

The Buffalo Planning Board on Monday recommended approval by the Council of a zoning map amendment for a group of properties in the Genesee-Moselle neighborhood. That would allow David Pawlik's Creative Structures Services to build a new 9,100-square-foot store on a vacant 0.97-acre lot.

The overall property includes 1750 and 1756 Genesee St., 10 and 14 Zenner St., and 23, 25, 29 and 31 Kilhoffer St. All but the Genesee properties need the zoning change to allow the $1.7 million project, which also needs area variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals. It would then come back to the Planning Board for final approval.

"We're excited to see this project go forward in a neighborhood that has really seen some redevelopment," said project attorney Sean Hopkins.

Another Family Dollar coming to East Side

The project had been approved previously for a Dollar General store, before the Green Code. The city already approved the sale of some of the land to the developer, and Lovejoy Council Member Richard Fontana reiterated his support.

"We're excited about it," he said. "This is a good display of urban development, and it definitely mimics the Genesee streetscape. We welcome the project."

The Planning Board also backed a zoning map amendment for 535 Exchange St., a small parcel along the railroad tracks that is owned by developer and state Sen. Christopher Jacobs.

Jacobs, the owner of Avalon Development, bought the land 15 years ago as part of a larger transaction, in which he also gained a 60,000-square-foot, four-story commercial building at 567 Exchange. That building, located to the east of the vacant parcel, is on the perimeter of the Larkin District, and is fully occupied, said Alan Dewart of Seneca Development & Management Corp., who is working with Jacobs.

Jacobs, Seneca Development eye logistics company for Exchange Street site

The 0.92-acre grassy site is currently zoned for rail use, but Jacobs and Dewart want to switch that to a category they said would fit with the development occurring nearby. The duo said in their application they plan to construct a 13,500-square-foot facility for a transportation and logistics company, but Dewart said that's not guaranteed.
"We've had from time to time prospects approach us for development of the parcel for commercial use," Dewart said. "We feel it's time to get it rezoned. It's a small piece of property, and this is the best thing for the future."

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