Now Accepting Entries for the 2018-2019 Design Competition

Buffalo YIMBY Breaking Ground: The Redevelopment of 998 Broadway Design Competition

Competition Purpose:

Entries will endeavor to show how to develop the 998 Broadway (former K-Mart) site in a community-positive way. Entrants may come up with a broad range of suggestions and may present their proposals in a number of different ways.  Teams with architects may want to present architectural drawings, planners may want to present conceptual diagrams, community activists may want to present written proposals, and artists may present any kind of visual concept.  A sociological study of the community with recommendations for what sorts of development are needed could be one type of acceptable written proposal. Concepts should include redevelopment of the entire site, not just the building.


998 Broadway, 5.28 acres with the 80,000 sq.ft. former K-Mart building, set back from Broadway, and bordered by Gibson, Lombard and Beck Streets.




The workshop on September 15th will kick-off the competition, and entrants will then have approximately FOUR months to work on their proposals, to be submitted by January 15, 2019.  Questions concerning the competition will be accepted until October 15th, and then the answers will be made available to all entrants. The competition is open to all interested individuals and teams. It is strongly encouraged, but not required, to have a community member on the team. Taking into account community input, in one form or another, is required.

An entrants’ event is scheduled for February 15th, 2019.  At the entrants’ event all entries will be displayed, either on boards, or, if the entry is a written report, by copies of the report.  Entrants’ will vote for their favorites at that time. The public will be able to vote for a People’s Choice award at the Yimby festival later in the year, and the judges will select the overall award winner.  A minimum of $1500 in cash prizes will be awarded, split between the overall winner, and lesser amounts for other awarded projects. The panel of judges will include architects, planners, community activists, and a representative of the building owner.

Design Criteria:

Designing is the process of creating an orderly solution to solve one or more problems, or to achieve some desirable end. A design refers to an outcome of the act of designing; it may be either tangible or intangible.

The design for the present competition is focused on one site, 998 Broadway, and how it relates to its surrounding neighborhood.  Knowledge of the chosen site is critical, and time spent visiting the site and surroundings will be essential to developing a good proposal. Submissions should directly address sustainability with consideration of our local climate, sensitivity to the local community, which is a diverse group of ethnic and racial populations, and economically viable project solutions. The proposals should attempt to optimize the area’s ecological, social, cultural, and economic health.

Designs may be conceptual. They can be built environment, landscapes, site plans, habitat, interiors, physical infrastructural or policy plans. Uses include — but are not limited to—a single or mixed-use built environment, infrastructure that saves or produces energy, food, shared social or public spaces, land use or policy plans that promote sustainability. The built environment may be new builds or adaptive re-use. Policy plans may be for societal and/or business infrastructure or a governmental uses. Designs may range in scale from the interior of the building, to strategic framework. Creativity, innovation and sustainability are foremost, but while the designs may be conceptual, they should be realistic in nature. In order for a design to come to reality on this site it must be economically viable.

Suggested issues to consider, among others:

  • Storm Water Retention
  • Renewable energy
  • Public Art
  • Neighborhood Connection. The design is not only about re-purposing a single building, but also setting a precedent and achieving a positive impact on the whole neighborhood and beyond.
  • Respecting the history of the site and neighborhood
  • Respecting current residents and their wishes
  • Significant green space component
  • Affordable housing component. If housing is included in the proposal, please include an affordable housing component. A mix of low-income, workforce, and market rate housing would be desirable.
  • Ability to withstand and thrive in the effects of global climate change
  • Human needs and social responsibilities, including the stresses which will be encountered by the effects of local cultural change and global climate change
  • Contributing to community cohesiveness, a place and way to bring people together for a variety of social, cultural, economic reasons, from a variety of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds
  • Food security
  • Energy security
  • Water and waste issues
  • Infrastructure
  • Integration with immediate surroundings, neighborhood, City and Region
  • Interior design


*Disclaimer* d2ls, Buffalo YIMBY, and Design Buffalo reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any submission that they determine to be profane, obscene, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate. The competition organizers also reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any incomplete submission or any submission that does not comply with the terms and conditions of the competition.


Correspondence about the competition should be addressed to Crystal Surdyk at