BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Elmwood Village is a hot spot right now for development. Restaurants, shops and housing options popping up in the area with one demographic in mind – millennials.
Millennials are described as the 18 to 34-year-olds who are now one of the largest growing populations in Buffalo and Erie County. With that in mind, the city and certain parts of it are aiming their redevelopment toward millennials needs and wants.
“Young people want to live in neighborhoods where they can walk to things,” said Carly Batton, the Executive Director for the Elmwood Village Association. “That is a big attraction in this area – you can walk, bike; it serves your day to day needs.”
That’s something people living in the village echo.
“It’s nice to park the car over the weekend and not drive it until you have to go to work again,” said Annie Schentag, a millennial who moved to the Elmwood Village specifically for its accessibly and walk-ability. “You can walk to get coffee, to the grocery store, go to the bar.”
Batton, the Elmwood Village Association’s director, says the area’s development is based on demand. They’re building more apartments, and having retail shops and cultural restaurants coming in because that’s what millennials are asking the association for and they’re looking for in their neighborhoods.
“I think as this area continues to grow, it will continue to be in demand for people who want to live here,” said Batton.
“You can have all of the cultural attractions you want; you can have the greatest restaurants in the world, if you have a weak economy, people will leave,” said Mark Poloncarz, the Erie County Executive.
Now that the economy is on the rebound, not only are people coming but they’re staying, too. Poloncarz says younger people who attended universities in Buffalo, used to move away after graduation. Now, businesses like Solar City, the medical campus, major technology companies, etc., are coming and requiring white collar jobs in the area, so those new and recent grads are staying which is giving the millennial demographic a presence in the Queen City.
“We do offer the amenities of many big cities but not with the big city price,” said Poloncarz.
“I think it is really a excellent time for Buffalo and I think the Elmwood Village is a place you can see that,” said Schentag. “I wish that kind of development was going on in other places of the city. You have to start somewhere though and I think there is a lot of momentum right now.”