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Ellicott Community Workshop

Ellicott Community Workshop

Willert Park/ Ellicott District,
Hydraulics/ Larkin District,
Old First Ward/ Valley

Willert Park/Ellicott District

Assets: New housing stock; local churches; JFK complex - parks and schools; charter schools, too; Town Garden Plaza; close connections to highways, transit, bus, rail; African-American cultural attractions; Sheehan Health Center.

Strengths: Blocks of new housing on Pine, Swan, Division, Hickory; Ellicott Mall redevelopment; historic Willert Park housing; African American cultural sites; transportation corridors; rehabbed BMHA projects.

Weaknesses: Underdeveloped retail on Michigan, Jefferson; the median on William Street; old industrial sites; incomplete streetscapes throughout; old and new houses together looks inconsistent; Broadway Garage idling trucks; brownfields and vacant lots.�

New directions: Develop Michigan Avenue cultural district; promote mixed use and retail on Michigan, Jefferson; other mixed uses on Exchange, Swan; auto-oriented mixed use on William; reinforce retail at Towne Gardens; business on Broadway Garage site; improve green spaces; finish Homeownership Zone; medium lot residential as in-fill.


Assets: Michigan Avenue historic district; schools like Montessori; sports facilities and parks; local restaurants (e.g. Chef's); Towne Garden; Larkin Building.

Strengths: New housing in pockets throughout the neighborhood; vacant properties - especially in clusters - are an asset for redevelopment; the campus around Montessori and other schools; reinvestment in historic resources.

Weaknesses: Railroad is a barrier and underpasses a problem; drug dealing and criminal behavior along railroad; decline of neighborhood business districts like William Street; broken sidewalks in many places.�

New directions: Zone for mixed use commercial districts to come back; allow experimental housing; support "urban commercial farming" - not just community gardens; expand the Montessori campus; develop the Michigan historic district; conduct an historic resources inventory; survey environmental damages; build on successes in Hydraulics.


Assets: Towne Garden; local churches; African-American cultural attractions; proximity to downtown; neighborhood schools; Jesse Nash Medical Center.

Strengths: Cultural heritage corridor; redeveloped neighborhoods along William and Sycamore.

Weaknesses: Disinvested neighborhoods - William to Peckham, Jefferson to Fillmore, Sycamore to Genesee, Jefferson to Herman; Towne Garden needs a better mix of stores; Broadway needs commercial reinvestment; cultural heritage corridor needs investment.

New directions: Traditional mixed use with single family on William; mixed use for heritage corridor; private green space as infill with "homesteading"; reinforce Towne Garden Plaza.

Hydraulics/ Larkin District

Assets: Industrial activities, transportation connections, local restaurants, churches, historic architecture.

Strengths: Valley Community Center; adjacent neighborhood with views of Buffalo River; new development on Jefferson; strong residential blocks near warehouse district; good sites on Seneca for new housing.

Weaknesses: Key vacancies near Seneca and Swan; weak residential on Smith, van Rensselaer; grain elevators.

New directions: Business center at Swan/ Seneca; GEICO at Thruway parcel; Auto-oriented mixed use along Exchange; traditional and retail/residential mixed use on Seneca and Swan; signage, sidewalks, sewers; green space throughout.

Old First Ward/Valley

Assets: Neighborhood anchors: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, The Valley CC, Old First Ward CC; local taverns like Swannie House and McCarthy's; parks like Father Conway, "Peg's", Red Jacket, rowing club.

Strengths: Streets of owner occupied housing at the core - O'Connell and Mackinaw; great streets in the Valley; historic buildings at Hamburg and South park; the rebel skateboard park.

Weaknesses: South Park business strip in decline; Perry Projects; Thruway on-ramps; The Del and Republic tracks cutting through.

New directions: South Park should be a neighborhood center with mixed uses; Perry Projects converted to business; green space along "the Del."