The Fairmont - So Long C of O
Allentown is really coming around these days. With the addition of The Falafel Bar, which opened last Monday, and the emptying of The Fairmount Apartments (Allen and North Pearl - towards Main Street) there is now a concerted effort between The City and business owners to keep pushing forward. Neighbors living in Allentown say that The Fairmont lost its Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) due to crime-related incidents. One commercial/residential neighbor described The Fairmont activity as almost unbearable with ongoing yelling and visible drug activity. Hopefully this is just the start of an effort by The City to clear out some of the more apparent and hi-profile problematic apartment buildings.
Hopefully The Fairmont will someday be looked at as an asset to the neighborhood. If you really look closely at the building you can imagine a thriving corner - imagine the transom windows replaced and a fine doorway installed. Now that the University at Buffalo investment is taking hold, and that section of Main Street is shaping up, maybe there is renewed hope for these types of apartment complexes.
Keep an eye out for Allentown - in recent years we have seen Rick Cycle Shop move in, as well as HERO, Elmwood Village Charter School, Sweet Tooth, Scarlet, Steel Crazy, 68 Design, Buffalo Big Print, Donna Sturges Gallery, La Tee Da, The Bend, Sample, Spirits/Staples, Hardware Bar, and Quaker Bonnet Eatery. Remember the restoration of the Allendale Theater? Plus we have our staples like Nietzsche's, Rust Belt Books, The Pink, Brick Bar, El Museo, The Town, Cafe 59, Jim's SteakOut, Fat Bob's, Mother's, The Gate, Fugazi, and a host of other treasures. There's even a historic gas station, antique and curiosity shops, hair salons, etc.
Now maybe the last remaining empty spots will be filled... like this one (185 Allen Street) that has been sitting vacant for years. The 'For Lease' sign went back up the other day and the out-of-town owner has been seen inside the building poking around. This lease deal (Hastings Cohn) includes one of the greatest patios in the city. The patio looks out onto Elmwood and Allen and could be one of the hottest spots around. I'm crossing my fingers - maybe the process might get moving a bit quicker if the facade didn't look as if it was falling down for as long as it has. What's up with that?