BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two old buildings in Buffalo's Black Rock neighborhood will see new life as food business incubator space.
Work began on 27 Chandler Street — the old Horsefeathers antique market — and the building next door back in January. The three-story building will be done in August, according to developer Rocco Termini. The other building should be completed in about two months.
There's 30,000 square feet of space between the two buildings.
The project is known as "Food E," a play on the word 'foodie' because food will be the focus here. The buildings will house 16 commercial kitchens. They will feature range hoods, walk-in coolers, and have other amenities required by the FDA for food production.
"It gives these small companies an opportunity now to sell products to places like Wegmans. They want to come in and inspect where you are producing your product," said Termini.
Thirteen businesses have already signed up to occupy space in the buildings. They include an ice cream maker, chocolate maker, cake baker, fish monger, and a mushroom farm.
"We need to start producing jobs here. We need to be producing spaces for kids that are here now, that will stay in Buffalo and not say 'Oh, I have to go to New York to do this because we don't have such and such'," said Termini.
A co-op style restaurant will be on the first floor of 27 Chandler Street.
"It's got five owners. The only people running the business will be the five owners," said Termini. He did not say who the owners are or what type of restaurant it will be.
The project cost about $14 million dollars, including $1 million for environmental cleanup. Termini got tax breaks for redeveloping a historic building and for doing work on a brownfield site.
"This is not a real money maker project. This is more of something we did to help the community and to bring small businesses back into the community," said Termini.