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3 Hertel Avenue developments adding neighborhood confidence

A rendering of 356 Hertel Avenue
M/E Engineering
Buffalo Planning Board
A rendering of the renovations planned for 356 Hertel Ave, a one-time malt house near the Niagara River.

In the peak of summer, those outside restaurant patios along Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo were filled with customers. The Buffalo Planning Board has a couple more on the agenda Monday, potentially a sign of continuing business confidence in the street.

It's all part of the bureaucracy of business and development in Buffalo. The board has to make a recommendation to the Common Council on requests for special use permits to operate outdoor dining in two former restaurants that want to open as new operations.

The former Mac's at Hertel and Norwalk Avenue would become a Thai restaurant. The board is also being asked to allow an adaptive reuse of an old malt house at 356 Hertel, not far from the Niagara River. It would be converted to mixed residential and commercial space.

Delaware District Councilmember Joel Feroleto said it's all good for the Hertel strip.

"Shows the confidence in Hertel Avenue," he said. "There's three different projects in the $1 million range, each one of them investing seven figures on Hertel Avenue. And this is outstanding because this will have an economic impact for not only the businesses that are being opened or the apartments being opened ,but for all of the businesses on Hertel Avenue."

Feroleto said there is another project even closer and will add to Hertel. That's the Italian Cultural Center, which opens next month in the former North Park Library at Delaware Avenue and Hertel.

"The ribbon-cutting for the Italian-American Culture Center is going to take place and there's been over $1.5 million spent to rehab the beautiful brick building that was once a library on the corner of Hertel and Delaware and that's going to be a great anchor for Hertel Avenue and showcase the contributions that Italian-Americans have made," Feroleto said.

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.