"August 27, 2009
Wendy Higgins, President
Polish Cadets Inc.
927 Grant Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
Re: Hook & Ladder No. 12
395 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY
Dear Ms. Higgins:
I am writing to address some of the comments and concerns you raised during our phone call on August 20th.
First, you mentioned that all of the parking on the both sides of the firehouse either was leased to neighbors or otherwise unavailable for our use. To be clear, we don’t need much parking to achieve our goals at the firehouse and we are willing to pay reasonable compensation for that accommodation. Essentially, we only need (a) to continue the existing access easement on the east side of the firehouse that would give us easier access the land behind the building and (b) access to a few additional parking spots that we would be willing to use in common with everyone else. Also, our tenants’ parking needs would be highest during business hours (when your use seems lightest), allowing the Cadets to leverage more out of its lots without sacrificing much.
Next, you also mentioned that some of your members were concerned that we planned to offer free meeting facilities that would compete with the meeting facilities already offered by the Cadets. When we made that proposal, it was only to provide an additional resource to the neighborhood, and was not an effort to duplicate any services already available to residents. If that remains a concern for the Cadets, we would be more than willing to discontinue that idea entirely. Furthermore, our tenants (including two companies that I help run) may have a need from time to time for the larger meeting space offered by the Cadets, which could increase your organization’s bookings. In short, we would support your efforts, not compete with them.
Finally, you also mentioned that some folks were upset that we did not approach the Cadets earlier in this process. And, frankly, we need to apologize for that oversight. But we’d also like to explain ourselves. My dad and I are new to the development process. When we first proposed this project last January (at a Grant-Amherst Business Association meeting hosted in your meeting hall), we envisioned a much different project that included multiple loft apartments and would have required more parking than we now need. When the economy slowed, we had difficulty finding financing for housing, so we recently shifted the focus to an office project. In addition to being a much better and more viable use of the building, that conversion also changed our parking needs. We did not feel comfortable approaching the Cadets until we knew our parking needs, which is why we first approached you only a few weeks ago.
In short, we are only asking that you meet with us to discuss our project. If you think we’ll make good neighbors, then we can talk about parking. In any event, thank you for your time.
Very truly yours,
PRESERVATION STUDIOS LLC
Name: Jason A. Yots
cc: Councilmember Joseph Golombek
Thomas J. Yots"