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Former Amherst Street bowling alley to be redeveloped into apartments, grocery store

For many years, a long-closed bowling alley at 47 East Amherst Street has been slowing falling apart behind a high chain-link fence. Now, the Buffalo Planning Board is close to final approval of a 178-unit apartment building to replace the eyesore.

Late delivery of a traffic study has stalled action before the city Planning Board for two weeks. The neighborhood is anticipating more traffic, according to Masten District Councilmember Ulysees Wingo. Wingo says the development would include a much-sought grocery store.

"That has been an area that has been a blighted site and now we are going to have something that is productive for the community," Wingo said. "We're going to have 40 percent of the development to be income-based housing and also the retail on the first floor is one of the things that was most attractive, as it's going to bring a grocery store to this district, because Masten does not have a grocery store."

The proposal has gone through several versions because it is relatively tall for the area, although the city Zoning Board of Appeals issued a variance. Developer Hormoz Mansouri told the Planning Board of its height on a large and sloping lot.

"Four-story building and remaining of that, one is a five-story in a U-shape, with a garden in between in a patio," Mansouri said, "and we built a connection around the building for circulation on Pannell and Holden Avenue."

Across the street from this project is the Elim affordable housing complex with its 30 units under construction. It is also across the street from the Highland Park development, where little appeared to be going on Tuesday. That plan was to completely redevelop the old Central Park Plaza site.

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Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
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WBFO News
Elim Townhouses are under construction across the street from the former bowling alley.

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Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
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WBFO News

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Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
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WBFO News