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Dash's Market unveils plans for two-story North Buffalo expansion

A crowd interested in a new Hertel Avenue supermarket proposal filled North Park Lutheran Church to hear what is planned. Dash's Market will be tearing down its old building in North Buffalo to erect a brand new store.

Architects, lawyers and Dash's Market CEO Joe Dash meet with Buffalo Planning Director Nadine Marrero Friday, as the project starts amidst the hurdles of the new Green Code.

Dash bought all the buildings between his current store and Starin, as well as a former bank branch across the street. The buildings will come down to make way for a much larger new store and the bank will become corporate headquarters.

Dash said the store is his gift to the city. He is financing it himself, without any government incentives. He did not see a problem competing with The Lexington Co-op's new store just down Hertel from Starin, which is slated to open this summer.

"I compete with Wegman's. I compete with Top's. I compete with all the other competitors out there," said Dash. "I worry about what we do. I don't worry about what other people do, especially our competitors. We keep one eye on them but we have our own plan."

Lawyer Corey Auerbach said the project needs some variances from the Green Code, which will be explained in Friday's meeting.

"Building on this lot, we're going to need relief from the rear yard set back requirements, which is the back of the building in this area, said Auerbach. "We're going to put our building a little bit closer than we otherwise would be allowed for the rear lot. And the reason we have to do that is, as Joe alluded, it's a fairly narrow lot. In order to do all the programming that the interior allows, we need that specific width."

Dash's expects to bring its proposal to the City Planning Board June 5 and then to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the variances to the Green Code the project requires, as designed. Dash hopes to start construction this summer.

Architect Daniel Marinaro said the building is commercial on Hertel and different along Starin, where there's outdoor eating space.

"Then we have some enclosed seating along Starin. It's a little more private, a little more quaint," said Marinaro. "It starts to soften up the scale for adjacent neighbors, so it really fits in nice with the orientation of the building. So, while this gets a little tighter, that's intentional because this is really a neighborhood sidewalk as opposed to a city streetscape."

By the time the $13 million project is finished around a year from now, the new store will run from Starin almost to the current store, flanked by a larger parking lot. The project will create a store twice as large, with a series of new services on the ground floor and on a new public second floor. Dash said he hopes the much larger inventory will increase the amount each customer spends in the store.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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