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New, larger Dash's Market is a go for North Buffalo

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Demolition for the new Dash's Market on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo may start Friday, after the city Preservation Board let it move forward.

Dash's lawyer Corey Auerbach said demolition contractors will be in City Hall first thing Friday morning to get the permits for a series of demolitions within the larger project. There also is a large piece of demolition equipment already on site, parked just off Starin Avenue.

The goal is to have the first three buildings demolished before Thanksgiving, making way for the new market building. Once that is done, the current market will be demolished.

Preservation Board Chairman Paul McDonnell said none of the buildings are historically outstanding.

"Obviously, Dash's, the building itself, has no historic integrity," McDonnell said. "I grew up in that neighborhood. It was a Loblaws. It was a B-Kwik. It's just been heavily altered. Obviously, the small ranch house on Starin would not be contributing. That's long after the era of significance to that neighborhood. Possibly, the building on the corner which I know was a hair salon and a number of other things."

There also is a former home converted to offices over the years.

However, opponents fought the plan to the end. Activist and neighbor Larry Gottesman told the Preservation Board the much larger Dash's is going the wrong way, especially when one of the buildings to be leveled housed small retail stores.

"The future is not going to be more big box stores, which is what essentially this will be. The future will be more and more specialty retail," Gottesman said. "And if you try to get it competing on the Wegman's and the level that Dash's wants to compete at, it's looking like a pretty losing proposition for the long term, figuring on the entry of people like Amazon and now, we will have Whole Foods."

Auerbach disagreed.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

"It's another step forward for another great project for North Buffalo," he said. "We really believe this is going to be a jewel of our North Buffalo Community and everyone, including myself, who lives in the community are exceedingly excited about the prospect of a new Dash's Market in North Buffalo."

There already has been some work done on the building at Starin and Hertel for asbestos remediation, which does not require a demolition permit. That building also has been gutted of all re-useable material, going to Habitat for Humanity.

Auerbach said the demolition work will go swiftly. When the new market is finished, the current store will be closed and knocked down to make way for a larger parking lot.

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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