Tonawanda News — KENMORE — Nick Sinatra’s redevelopment of a historic block in Kenmore is continuing to have an immense impact on residents and merchants — and the area’s right in Sinatra’s backyard.
“I’ve always had an affinity for this block,” he said. “I saw the area in East Aurora, Lewiston — and I thought Kenmore can do that.”
So Sinatra, who grew up on Knowlton Avenue around the corner from the shops, decided to do it on his own.
After arguing with the previous owner for two years, he bought the strip of buildings between Lincoln Boulevard and Mang Avenue in the 2700 block of Delaware Avenue that house Kenmore staples like Mike’s Subs.
Although the improvement has taken longer and cost more than Sinatra initially expected, he’s happy with the results. The remodel has significantly upgraded the storefronts but has kept the block’s historic flair with the unveiling of the 1930s buildings’ original brick.
The work included some research, as Sinatra’s employee, Andrew Sheldon, visited the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society to study old pictures of the area to ensure the block kept the same look.
After looking at the photos, Sinatra considered keeping the original brick as is, but eventually chose painting each store’s brick a different color.
“We took an informal survey with the tenants and gave them two renderings,” Sinatra said. “And everyone liked the painted brick.”
Every store on the block now has its own unique shade — Hofert Jewelers with red and Sinatra’s banquet facility with yellow.
The fix-up, which was started almost a year ago, also brought new signs to each store.
“They were different from our original design after we got some feedback from the owners,” Sinatra said. “With the black on cream, they will be visible at night, too.”