Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Allentown Square opening delayed again

            The opening of Allentown Square apartments has once again been postponed.

            The 54-apartment complex, 295 Maryland St., is now set to open June 1. The complex was supposed to open in November, but the opening  was subsequently pushed back to this month.

            Richard Gonzalez, managing director of the project, said the cold weather, late arrival of building materials and a slow cleanup process at the site were some of the many factors in the delay.

            Gonzalez is a partner in APL Property Group. The company owns other properties and developments in the neighborhood.

            Allentown Square will feature studio, one and two bedroom floor plans. Rent will be all-inclusive and starts at $795 per month. Amenities will include off-street parking, high-speed Internet and bicycle racks.

            Gonzalez hopes the complex will cater to the needs of middle-class tenants. He expects the property will attract young professionals, students and recent graduates.

            “We know we’re going to have students and people that are getting their first jobs, they’re not ready to buy a house,” Gonzalez said. “They need a wonderful place to live in. A quality place, a place that you feel comfortable and proud to bring friends and family to visit and feel safe at.”

            A sneak peak of the complex is scheduled to take place May 27, where fully furnished model units will be available for viewing. By Tiffany Gaines and Briana Mangum

Monday, March 27, 2017

PUSH creates Girl Talk to build leaders

People United for Sustainable Housing, or PUSH, has implemented a new program known as Girl Talk, which focuses on creating leaders out of young women in the surrounding area.
The new program has created an opportunity for women to share their views and struggles with one another, giving them an open and safe space for their thoughts and ideas to be expressed without being judged, according to PUSH.
While this is an unusual move for PUSH, which focuses on expanding affordable housing in the Buffalo area, this new program allows the organization to build a stronger community as well.
The program meets from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at PUSH offices, 271 Grant St. The program is open to any young woman, free of charge.
“What makes it so unique is that these girls have their own individual stories. For example, some are in high school, some are in college, some are even mothers. They all have the drive to be someone and want better for themselves, their family and their community,” Jasmine Mosley, a Girl Talk facilitator, said.
The program also intends to mold and build young girls into positive, productive, and successful young women by equipping them with the tools to succeed in all aspects of life. The program will offer a variety of resources to allow the girls to become leaders and role models within the West Side community, and outside of the area as well, according to PUSH. By Jessica Freda and Meaghan Michel

Sunday, March 26, 2017

TOY brings theater to kids for 45 years

In celebration of its 45th season, the Theatre of Youth in Allentown is encouraging children to put down their technology and experience the wonderment of live theatre, says Kevin Leary, managing director.  TOY, 204 Allen St.,  has been entertaining children since 1972. It caters to schools all over Western New York by planning its shows around the schedules of all the local schools. By Jillian LeBlanc and Christina Stuart

Bookstore helps immigrants learn English

Rust Belt Books, 415 Grant St, serves the immigrant community by providing material catering to those who speak English as a second language. The store also features a foreign language section with dictionaries, grammar, and children's books in multiple languages. Originally open on Allen Street, Rust Belt Books moved to Grant Street to take advantage of the diversity of the community and to help those from foreign countries, owner Christy Mills said. Rust Belt is celebrating   its two-year anniversary at this location. By Gregory Garrett Jr. and Osman Shire

Thursday, March 16, 2017

First Fridays unite the community with art

On the first Friday of every month, Allentown’s art galleries, shops and restaurants see a spike in business. First Fridays promote the neighborhood’s eclectic venues with gallery tours and featured performances. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. people are encouraged to wonder through the different galleries and connect with the community through Buffalo’s art scene. By Dan Almasi and Andrew Kuczkowski

Sunday, March 12, 2017

West Side studio combines Pilates and art

Sarah Griffin-DiVincenzo is bringing her love of teaching Pilates to the West Side. She and husband, Mark DiVincenzo, recently opened Pilates Art Studio,  429 Rhode Island St. DiVincenzo offers painting, drawing and career building classes in his art studio on the third level, while Griffin-DiVncenzo holds Pilates lessons on the second floor. Griffin-DiVincenzo hopes her studio will bring awareness to the West Side about Pilates and the benefits the exercise can have physically and mentally. “A lot of people don’t even know what it is and I feel like it sort of spreads like wildfire throughout the world,” DiVencenzo said. “I’m just one of these people that can help people gain access to it and benefit from it.” She hopes she that through her classes, she can continue to teach people to be the strongest, best versions of themselves. By Tiffany Gaines and Briana Mangum

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday’s a school day at Lafayette H.S.

Saturdays are busy at Lafayette High School, where students of all ages gather to have fun while learning, playing sports and finding out about each other.  Full story by Jillian Leblanc and Christina Stuart