Grant Ferry- A West Buffalo Neighborhood on the Rise

The Grant Ferry is neighborhood  is a segment of the larger Upper West District, which also includes the Forest neighborhood to the north. Grant Ferry was developed around the turn of the 19th century and was known as a traditional landing zoning for immigrants thanks to its convenient location near the Lake and many jobs. Grant Ferry initially welcomed many Sicilian immigrants. In the 50s-70s it became home to many Puerto Rican and SE Asian enclaves. Most recently large Somali, Bhutanese, Sudanese, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and Hispanic immigrants.

Like many American neighborhoods disinvestment came to the Grant Ferry neighborhood in the 70s. Historically Grant Street was the blight line dividing more blight and “immigrant” areas to the west and more stable and “White” areas to the east. Streets west of here get progressively worse and streets east of here get progressively more stable as one moves to Elmwood Avenue. But unlike East Buffalo, Grant Ferry was mostly left standing thanks to a large influx of immigrants.

Gentrification is making the traditional Grant St blight line more and more fuzzy as North Buffalo’s revitalization pushes westward. More and more homes around and west of Grant St are being fully renovated and selling in the 200Ks and low 300Ks. The revitalization of Grant St seems to be lagging behind but hopefully will pick up pace. Niagara St along the lake recently received a streetscaping overhaul, although still has many missing teeth. Overall Grant Ferry has great public transit, bike infrastructure, diverse housing, great racial & economic diversity, solid cultural & retail amenities, and generally good urban form. Main areas for improvement include: revitalization of Grant Street, need for more parks, better schools, and more diverse for-sale options and more apartments.

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* Solid Density
* Quality public transit access.
* Only 2-3 miles from Dwtn. Only a 10 minute drive and 20 min bus ride. University of Buffalo is pretty easy to drive to, but challenging transit trip.
* Great bike infrastructure with plenty of bike shares and a pair of convenient north-south dedicated bike lanes.
* Excellent diversity, especially racial.
* Good # of walkable schools in the neighborhood but mixed ratings.
* Decent amount of rental housing that’s pretty affordable. 1-beds range btwn $800-1.2K, 2-beds generally in the mid 1ks, 3-beds lease btwn the low 1Ks and mid 2ks.
* Good mix of affordable, moderately priced, and high end housing. 2-beds sell btwn low 100Ks to mid 200Ks, 3 & 4 beds sell btwn the low 100Ks-500K. 
* Very good sidewalk infrastructure and generally consistant ADA curbs but sometimes its missing.
* Good cultural amenities including many restaurants, bars & cafes, a couple art galleries & breweries and a couple community theaters.
* Good retail amenities as well including a Save a Lot,  A Co-op, plenty of ethnic grocerias, a hardware store, a couple home goods stores, salons & barbershops, a drug store, several banks, a good number boutiques, gift shops, & consignment stores, a couple dessert joints, and several churches.
* Urban massing and streetscape are great along Elmwood. Massing is decent along Grant but its very warn down by blight. Niagara is a mixed bag. Lots of warehouses and autocentric industrial businesses mixed together but new streetscaping here.


* Condo for sale options are largely missing from the Grant Ferry housing market. There also are few larger apartment buildings. This would go a long way towards adding density to the district.
* Crime issues are certainly getting better but plenty of blight and crime issues still west of Ferry Street.
* Parks are pretty limited. The only parks in Grant Ferry include Colonial Circle, Broderick Park (a small part of Unity Island) and a playground.
* Some good modern in-fill along Elmwood but generally pretty limited west of here. What does exist is often crummy autocentric uses.