Joe and I walked to Sweetness_7 today for breakfast which required a short walk through the West Side. We live on Chenango so its really not that far of a walk but I feel compelled to write a little something about it.
You see, the West Side is changing. The housing stock is being bought for higher prices that ever before. There are cool, hip, single speed or fixed gear bikes locked up on porches on Hoyt, Auburn, Breckenridge and Grant.. there are houses being fixed up and painted, new roofs going on, book stores and sandwich shops opening… There are new people moving in that are willing to take a calculated risk on a neighborhood that is changing.
Pretty cool, huh? I mean this is what everyone wants. Investment into a neighborhood that 10 years ago was on a decline and in pretty rough shape.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend a west side housing meeting and their main conversation was maintaining the affordable housing in the West Side. Now, I see this as very important to maintain but its also important to understand that the West Side housing market values are rising for a reason and we should take that whole heartedly and welcome the investment. I know that if I cannot buy a house in the West Side within the next 3 years, I may not be able to afford it… that may be sad in a way but the upside is that if I cannot buy one here, I will look to other areas like the East Side.
Interesting how that works right? The East Side? The craziest place in Buffalo.. but also one that many of my friends see as an opportunity.
So, where I am going with this is that we need to embrace the West Side changes and encourage growth because this will only encourage growth into other areas of the city that are desperately waiting for it.
Here are a couple photos of a house my friend rehabbed. He bought it cheap on the West Side and now its worth more and rents for more. Great little house.