BUFFALO. N.Y. -- For some shoppers, the local atmosphere of the Elmwood Village is what makes events like the annual Black Friday Boutique crawl appealing.
"I'd rather shop local, support the community and not support those big box stores," said Kira Kremer.
That's why Ciminelli Real Estate placing a series of buildings under contract between Bidwell Parkway and Bird Avenue on Elmwood for potential future development has area businesses and residents concerned. So much so, that non-profit corporation Buffalo First started a petition.
"The response has been really overwhelming in just a few days of putting this petition out through social media and online we've gotten several hundred folks putting their names to it," said Andrew Delmonte, Buffalo First Board member.
According to the Buffalo First petition, eight local businesses could be displaced or forced to close due to the development.
"The size of a development this sort of large scale effect when we're talking about eight businesses dramatically changing in this way and the rents possibly going up because that's a really common thing that will happen with new developments, it's just not such a conducive situation for locally owned businesses," said Delmonte.
"With Buffalo growing and changing there are going to be developments and things are going to change but I hope it just doesn't change the flavor of the Elmwood Village," said Campus Wheelworks owner Ethan Johnson.
Some say they don't want to discourage development, but they do want to make sure it does not take away from the feel of the village.
"It's a touchy touchy thing and the best thing is just talking about it and having people become active about voicing their opinions be it pro or con," said Fern + Arrow owner Gordon Scherer.
Ciminelli Real Estate issued a statement Friday acknowledging the concerns. Ciminelli says they're still in a very conceptual stage and plan to seek input from area stakeholders before beginning any design process.
In the meantime, the proposal didn't stop shoppers from enjoying the charm they say comes with shopping local on Elmwood.