Ab initio

30 Jan

Gabe hit the nail on the head:

The DL&W is too isolated from the downtown urban fabric and too hidden behind the HSBC Arena. Having the market there would require too much dealmaking right off the bat. Start small then expand.

Instead of looking for a mega-complex of almost Transitroadian size in which to locate a downtown Flea Market, how about appropriating (with permission) a surface parking lot or something and start it small. Then, let it grow organically. We tend sometimes to have to have “big, successful, and now” when we should just start small and see how it goes.

11 Responses to “Ab initio”

  1. peter scott January 30, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    small is good…but I tend to think that city streets serve a “flea” market better than a surface lot…

    think camden town or portobello rd in london

    think of allen st. between main and delaware being blocked off every saturday and/or sunday…

    the more crowded the better…thats why a narrow street like Allen works well…plus the businesses would benefit from the foot traffic each week…even more than they would if vehicle traffic was passing by

    I think surface lot and I think walden super flea, or clinton-bailey (which i’m not knocking at all)…

    but I think euro-stylee flea market (which I gather is what we’re aching for) and I want to walk around looking for knick-knacks and other stuff right before I walk into k. gallagher for a pint or three…

  2. Jeff Brennan January 30, 2007 at 2:33 pm #

    Here, here. A flea market in the DL&W could not support itself immediately. It would have to start somewhere very visible and then grow into bigger space years down the road. Getting a big turnout of shoppers won’t happen overnight. The DL&W might work if it was the big cheap space the market needed after it got big and successful. If successful, the market might survive a move to an out of the way place like that.

  3. CB January 30, 2007 at 3:08 pm #

    For some of the reasons outlined above that is why the Broadway Market makes sense…but instead of plopping somewhere then move it to a new location…it could grow organically with the Market…the Market already has foot traffic, indoor and outdoor space to accommodate…and the biggest bounus, it could help in the revitalization of the B-F commercial district…

  4. peter scott January 30, 2007 at 3:23 pm #

    I understand the desire to maintain and grow the Braodway Market and I support it. However, I don’t think its existence and vitality are dependent on no other markets operating in the city.

    Where would an outdoor component to the Broadway Market be? The Broadway Market has appeal…but so does bright sunshine, fresh air, and an abundance of people.

    I really don’t have a concrete grasp of the demographics of the city, but I’d venture to guess that more people living in the city are within walking distance of allen st.

  5. lulu January 30, 2007 at 3:57 pm #

    A few members of the previous administration in City Hall investigated trying to start an open air craft/art/flea market. The unusual non-vehicular traffic intersection of Mohawk and Main was considered. I believe the proposal was submitted to Buffalo Place and numerous funding options were explored. I don’t know whatever came of this effort, but perhaps there is some good information out there regarding site selection, vendor solicitation etc.

  6. CB January 30, 2007 at 4:47 pm #

    The Market has two viable outdoor options…current lot to its immediate West…and of course the roof parking lot that is only used but one week a year now…and is huge…but both are in place…Market has infrastructure…

    Its location is central…

    It is really not a question of its existance is dependent on other markets are open or not in the city…it survives now with others…it is a question of taking a cool Buffalo place and making it cooler…

  7. me January 30, 2007 at 6:28 pm #

    For a start – I suggest the space directly south of Sheas, west of Theatre Place – currently used for parking. It was the original space for the farmers market before it was moved to Main Street. Banners can be hung below the unfinished steel structure that rises above the lot. Empty parking lots directly behind Sheas may be a natural extension of the outdoor market on weekends if the concept takes off.

  8. Mike on Grand Island January 30, 2007 at 10:23 pm #

    doesn’t connecticut st still have a pavillian for this?
    do it in a city lot like on forest near elmwood…
    do it on bidwell at elmwood.
    why don’t we do it the road

    oops, it’s that crazy white album slipping out again

  9. gabe January 31, 2007 at 1:03 pm #

    BP, Thanks for highlighting this. “Silver Bullet” thinking always leads us to the same place..

    I vote for using either Fountain Plaza or Lafayette Square. Proximity to Chippewa and the Theatre District will help those areas grow and diversify. Point-blank metro rail access will make it convenient for UB students and residents near each station to participate without worrying about parking.

    Bringing lots of people downtown every Saturday afternoon would work wonders. It would provide an incentive for new businesses to move there.

  10. lulu January 31, 2007 at 3:41 pm #

    While determining or suggesting locations is a natural first step for community response to such an idea, I would be interested in more discussion concerning bare bones logistics in establishing such a venue: vendor coordination (duration of leases, insurance, storage, acceptable good/services, set-up/breakdown procedures, signage, cooperative advertising etc.) as well as hours of operation, security, bathrooms, atm’s, etc.

  11. mark February 1, 2007 at 11:55 am #

    wait to see how the rest of canal side shapes up. Main street past the arena might be a street people drive on depending on how “canal side” turns out…and if they do…DL&W will work.

    good signage will help too…something buffalo isn’t familiar with.

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