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Massive new millennial housing to break ground on Buffalo's East Side

Not only are millennials moving into important positions in our society and our economy, a prominent local developer says his newest project reflects millennial views on how to live.

Developer Stuart Alexander is planning a massive complex on most of the old Buffalo Forge site , to be called The Forge on Broadway. It will be a mix of apartments, townhouses and houses for sale between Spring Street and Mortimer Street on the city's East Side, with more land to be developed later.

Alexander says this will be millennial living.

"Buffalo has evolved in the last five to seven years into what other cities have done over the past 10 or 15 years," he says. "If you visit those cities and our projects are in those cities, this is what you are seeing. This is the millennials. This is the way they want to live. The folks in our office, they are the millennials."

This is a big project overall, around $50 million. Alexander says the goal its to start digging up the site late this year for a $3 million clean-up of the heavily contaminated land that is expected to take about five months. Footings for many of the buildings on the site will be built in the course of the clean-up.

Neighbors are backing this latest version of the plan, adjacent to Pratt-Willert Village. The most visible building will run along Broadway, with commercial space on the first floor and three floors accommodating 159 apartments. It is the kind of structure that dominated the city for decades.

Alexander says this new building will be a throwback to the old days.
"Which is a four-story building fronting on Broadway, which is consistent with what Broadway should be," he says. "Broadway is a main arterial. It needs to have that presence. Continuing along Mortimer Street is a three-story building and it continues along two legs coming off of Mortimer."

Alexander says the building is aimed at millennial tenants, affordable to those who work downtown or on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The developer says his staff of millennials says this is the way to go, with tenants commuting to work by walking, biking or taking Metro Bus.

"This is what they said. This is the way they want to live," he says. "You want access to the facilities that you use. You want to be able to bike your way to downtown. We'll have biking. We'll have running tracks. We will have vehicle electric charging stations. This is where the new youth will be living that will be working downtown."

Alexander says the ground floor of businesses will even include a health and wellness center.

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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