AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Niagara Falls Boulevard and Sheridan Drive in Amherst are already busy commercial strips with shopping centers, restaurants and living spaces, but even more development could be coming to these areas of the town soon.

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down economic growth across the country, but in Amherst, the Town Supervisor says he is jump-starting several new projects to redefine suburban living.

“What excites me the most is we are introducing new parks and green space right alongside of new business offerings, new jobs and new housing opportunities,” Brian Kulpa, Amherst Town Supervisor, said.

Some of the ongoing projects include the new Costco on Ridge Lea Road, which was announced in March, and re-imagining the Boulevard Mall. Both projects plan to break ground next year. Kulpa says the Costco will take the place of the former Univeristy at Buffalo annex. The area needs to be zoned and rid of asbestos before the project can begin. The next step in the Boulevard Mall project is bisecting the structure with new roads, which also requires new zoning.

Also in the works is the Station 12 project, which is the former Northtown Plaza. This development stalled during the pandemic, according to Kulpa. He says the town held firm with the developer and only extended the permits on the project for six months. The town will not extend them again unless they see progress in the project at the end of the extension. The Supervisor hopes that local and national businesses, like Williams Sonoma and Banana Republic, can move into that space by the end of the year.

“Reinvestment in sites that have been sitting dormant. That’s good. That means our economy here in Amherst is strong,” Kulpa added.

Amherst designed an economic recovery plan in the early days of the pandemic, which allows them to move forward on these projects, despite pushback from some town residents.

Beyond the storefronts, new housing developments and a new Amherst medical corridor on the town’s west side, which will include a new Roswell Park facility and a University at Buffalo orthopedic ambulatory center, Kulpa says he is most excited to redefine suburban living. He claims the pandemic acted as a catalyst to jump-start these new economic opportunities in Buffalo’s largest suburb.

“We’re a suburb that’s bigger than a lot of cities. The redefinition of suburban living and what it means to be a successful suburb and it’s starting right here in the Town of Amherst,” Kulpa concluded.

The town hopes for new jobs and opportunities, as well as a new tax base for Amherst from the new companies.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.