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William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The east side of Delaware Avenue between Gates Circle and West Delavan Avenue is presently where a restaurant that I like (but A doesn't), a fancy florist and a travel agency, and a Curves gym are situated. It's a pretty little bunch of low brick buildings which are somewhat disadvantaged as retail space by reason of a paucity of parking and a complicated pedestrian layout due to the circle, but they all seem to be doing fairly well. Just north, on the same block, is a high-end martini bar, and on the corner, a newly refurbished gas station. The gas station is directly across from another gas station with a convenience store, and from Forest Lawn, Buffalo's landmark cemetery. The fourth corner is occupied by a Rite Aid.

It now emerges that Walgreens wants to move into this space. That would be a shame, in my view. It is easy to understand why they would be interested-- it's right up the block from a hospital, and the Rite Aid is always busy. This is a stretch of Delaware that is blighted by the parking lots on three corners, though, and the one piece of the block that is attractive now is what will be replaced by a big ol' concrete block building. It does not seem to me that this is an addition that would improve the quality of life in the area, although, in it's defense, Walgreens seems to have done a respectable job at integrating itself into the neighborhood at Delaware and North. If it could be done in an attractive way, without another busy, ugly parking lot, my gut opposition to the project could be swayed.

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