Fry Baby Doughnuts, Gutter Pop Comics among names announced for building project near Canisius

The former Record Theatre across from the Koessler Athletic Center is set to be redeveloped into a mixed-use building. (Mike Pesarchick/The Griffin)

Plans are in the works for the abandoned record store just south of Canisius to be redeveloped into a mixed-use facility, featuring a range of tenants that include Fry Baby Doughnuts, Gutter Pop Comics, GoBike Buffalo and Reddy Bikeshare, according to The Buffalo News

The News reported Sept.15 that Common Bond Real Estate is close to closing on the former Record Theatre complex at 1786 Main Street, across the street from the Koessler Athletic Center. Common Bond has plans to spend six million dollars in renovating the 33,000-square-foot building into retail space and 15 market-rate apartments. 

The four tenants are all businesses with deep local roots. Gutter Pop Comics opened on Elmwood Avenue in 2016, while Fry Baby Doughnuts, famous for its vegan treats, opened on the same street one year later.

In addition to the two announced retail stores, nonprofit organization GOBike Buffalo was announced to be a tenant. The group has worked to make Buffalo more bike-friendly since its inception. It runs a community bike workshop and offers classes on bike repair and safe riding habits. GoBike will work with Reddy BikeShare, a bike sharing organization sponsored by Independent Health, in offering services tailored towards bikes, The News reported. 

“We hoped to attract community-focused organizations to this site. GObike and Reddy Bikeshare fit that bill perfectly, given their neighborhood-building activities on both sides of Main Street,” Common Bond President Jason Yots told The Buffalo News

In addition to the four announced retail tenants, a still-unnamed record store is planned for the space. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020. 

Owner of Gutter Pop comics Stephen Floyd said Wednesday that he became involved with the project while looking for a new location for his Elmwood Avenue store. He pictures the Record Theatre project as a place to be “comfortable and hang out.”

Record Theatre opened in 1973 and was operated by founder Leonard Silver until his death in 2017. The building was constructed in the 1920s as an automobile dealership, and many of the original architectural details have been preserved under yellow corrugated steel. Common Bond will use the former automobile showroom as a common space, according to project renderings.  

The project is the latest in a long line of development that has slowly crawled up Main Street towards Canisius. Ellicott Development’s project at 1091 Main Street at the former Our Lady of Lourdes Church is nearing completion, and construction is underway on a five-story building at the former Buffalo Motor Lodge at 1196 Main St.

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