Elmwood Village- Buffalo’s Premiere Urban Distrct and Home to the Olmsted Boulevards

For this evaluation I consider Elmwood Village to be between Elmwood Ave to the West and Main St to east. From North to South the district is between Delaware Park and Utica St.

Elmwood has become one of the premiere urban districts in Buffalo. It features over 300 small local shops, coffeehouses, restaurants, bars, and art galleries. In 2007, Elmwood Village was named one of the ‘Top 10 Great Places in America’ by the American Planning Association. It also contains the best preserved segment of Frederick Olmstead and Calvert Vaux’s original parkway system.  Historically, an address along the boulevard was home to some of Buffalo’s most prestigious residents. Delaware Avenue is Buffalo’s most regal corridor hosting many historic luxury apartments mansions and other major institutions.

Sadly the neighborhood’s eastern border along Main Street has fallen into disrepair and underinvestment. Main street forms an almost impervious border between North Buffalo’s well maintained districts and the very poor African American neighborhoods of East Buffalo. One can tell that Main street used to be a wonderful urban business district with the buildings that remain. Its also where Buffalo’s solo subway line runs connecting Downtown to the University of Buffalo in Amherst to the northeast. Revitalizing the Main street corridor is the missing piece needed to make the Elmwood Village a truly great urban district. It would also have the benefit and bringing back a thriving commercial district to the disinvested neighborhoods of Cold Spring and Masten Park that border Elmwood Village to the east.


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* Overall great ADA and sidewalk infrastructure throughout. Only a handful of intersection without proper ADA curb cuts.
* Great public transit access bolstered by the Main St Subway line. Because of this Elmwood Village is very convenient to Dwtn and has decent transit access to the UB.
* Great coverage in Elmwood Village by the Buffalo bike share. Decent dedicated bike lane coverage.
* Great economic and decent racial diversity.
* Decent # of walkable schools. The private schools are rated well and the public are rated poorly.
* Crime is pretty low here. Blight and crime pick up near Main Street, the district’s east border.
* Great tree canopy.
* Great access to parks in the northern half of the neighborhood (Delaware Park, Lincoln & Chapin Pkwy), but pretty limited in the southern half.
* Excellent historic architecture.
* Good # of rentals at moderate and higher end prices. 1-beds lease btwn 1K-1.8K, 2 & 3 beds 1.5K-2.8K.
* Good number of quality modern apartments mixed throughout Elmwood Village.
* Vibrant commercial nodes, pedestrians a bit sparse on residential streets.
* Great local buzz here.
* Great cultural amenities including many restaurants, bars & cafes, several art galleries, museums, and live music venues.
* Great retail amenities as well with a co-op store, a Topps, a couple drug stores, tons of boutiques & gift stores, a couple bookstores, several dessert joints & gyms, tons of churches.
* Good urban form and streetscaping along Elmwood. Main street is pretty rough.


* Generational diversity isn’t great as households with kids is limited and most of the population are young adults.
* For sale housing are def more on the high side but decent # of more affordable condos. 1-bed condos sell btwn  100Ks-400K, 2-beds anywhere btwn the low 200Ks and 500K. 3 & 4 beds homes sell anywhere btwn 250K-800K. Larger are selling in the low Millions.
* The district’s eastern edge along Main street is severly underinvested.