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New urbanism in Amherst

WNY’s first lifestyle center is on the way

Rendering courtesy of WS development


Boston-based WS development is firming up its plans for Sheridan Drive’s former Northtown Plaza, which is to be transformed from a strip mall into an amenity-loaded lifestyle center, with a multistoried structure surrounding a central green. Its name, Station Twelve, comes from an early designation for this part of Amherst: Township 12. “Station” was chosen because this area has always functioned as a hub of sorts, with traffic converging from all directions. “The name is both future-focused and firmly rooted in the past,” says Christa Seychew, director of the project. “We expect this place to become an essential hub of community, culture, and commerce, and we feel this name helps to articulate that aspiration.” (Seychew is former food editor for Buffalo Spree.)


The main thing to know—as the term lifestyle center implies—is that Station Twelve aspires to be much more than a place to shop. Expect free fitness classes, family activities, and arts workshops among the weekly programming. WS is known for its transformation of Boston’s Seaport Square, which redevloped twenty-three acres of underutilized waterfront property into a bustling neighborhood, complete with residences, employers, retailers, entertainment venues, and civic amenities (like the Institute of Contemporary Art).


Prior to this project, WS opened Whole Foods, which was the first step toward Station Twelve.


Confirmed tenants include Williams Sonoma, L.L. Bean, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Athleta, City Works, B. Good, and Public Espresso & Coffee. This lineup is expected to grow, with both local and national names; groundbreaking on the new buildings is slated for later in the summer/early fall.



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