Big Reveal: Bold Design Unveiled

Taken from Buffalo Rising

Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation has refined its plans for a downtown complex that combines office, retail, and residential uses along with a large public space. The project was unveiled at a public information session held at the Buffalo & Erie County Central Public Library this evening.

Ciminelli was selected to develop the City-owned site in February. The 2.54 acre, 380 space parking lot is managed by Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps.  Cannon Design is project architect. Here are the details:

Public Space

Over half of the site is dedicated to public amenities. The corner of Ellicott and Clinton streets is marked by a public plaza. The project’s proposed grocery, retail, building lobbies and green space embrace this square and support its vitality. A prominent amphitheater stair at the south end of the Square provides access to the Upper Terrace Park while also creating a casual space to “people watch.”

Upper Terrace Park, a public green, will have access from the plaza and the upper floors of the project structures and feature an open lawn, tree-shaded picnic areas, a demonstration rain garden, cafe spaces, a performance stage and view of a large cinema screen mounted to the neighboring NFTA office building. The park offers opportunities to relax, and come together to enjoy activities ranging from frisbee to farmers markets to al fresco dining to performances.

In concert with the city’s current “Complete Street” designs, the project includes pedestrian and bicycle friendly improvements to Ellicott, Clinton and Oak Streets. Landscape elements from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’ “Ellicott Street Linear Park” are extended to the site along Ellicott Street, gesturing to a broader vision of uniting this significant urban corridor.

Retail

Approximately 44,000 sq.ft. of retail ring the sidewalks and public spaces on both the ground and upper terrace level. A 12,000 to 15,000 sq.ft. Orchard Fresh grocery store concept by Tops Markets will include a café and have a prominent entrance at the corner of Oak and Clinton streets and a second entrance off of the Clinton/Ellicott plaza.

“This project will be an excellent addition to the City of Buffalo in more ways than one,” said Denise Juron-Borgese, Vice President of Development and Planning, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation. “It’s a space for people to live, work, play, and eat. As it stands now, there’s a lack of access to fresh food and grocery items in downtown Buffalo. An Orchard Fresh format will fill that void, as the proposed store is slated to offer an assortment of grocery items, including affordable options, fresh foods, a wide range of “grab and go”items, frozen foods, and fresh prepared foods in a café setting. This will contribute additional daytime dining options for local residents and for the growing downtown workforce. Our project team is also looking into the possibility of a public farmer’s market appearing on site, along with a community garden to increase the variety of fresh, locally sourced food options.”

Office

A three-story, 110,000 sq.ft., L-shaped, elevated office block runs along Oak and Clinton Streets and culminates with a multi-level atrium for shared conference and meeting spaces overlooking the plaza. The office floors also have access to a roof terrace and the Upper Terrace Park.  Ciminelli says that have a commitment from a corporate tenant for 50,000 sq.ft. of the space.Residential

The four-story Ellicott Street block and the 12-story Clinton Street tower create approximately 200 apartment and condo units with a wide variety of configurations and price points. The Ellicott Street apartments offer dynamic street and garden views, while the Clinton Street residences provide stunning panoramas of the city and the lake. Balconies, shared green roof terraces and a community garden extend living spaces to the outdoors.  It will be the largest market-rate downtown residential complex to date.

Access

201 Ellicott is designed to be highly walkable, in addition to being accessible by bicycle, public transit, and vehicles. The site is close to light rail’s Lafayette and Church Street stations and north of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Bus Terminal.

800 covered parking spaces will replace the existing surface lot spaces while also adding sufficient additional spaces to serve the new building program. The development team aimed to make parking “invisible” on the site by submerging two levels of the parking structure below grade and covering the entire above grade parking with an accessible “green roof”.

Neighboring blocks have seen substantial investment such as the mixed-use Hotel @ the Lafayette that includes 115 apartments and 40 hotel rooms, the 30-unit Historic Warehouse Lofts that has been converted to condos, the 48-unit AM&A’s Warehouse Lofts, the Planing Mill with 22 units on Elm Street, the redeveloped Tishman Building with 18 apartments and a 123-room Hilton Garden Inn, Historic Buehl Block with five apartments, Deep South Taco on Ellicott and a new restaurant planned for 50 Broadway around the corner, Ciminelli’s The Sinclair on Washington Street with 45 units, AC Lofts on Elm Street with 91 units, and the reuse of the AM&A’s Department Store with 300 hotel rooms and six apartments.

Community members are invited to submit their feedback on the development via the project website, www.201ellicott.com.

“Great community spaces are at the heart of this project, and because of that, we feel it’s imperative to engage the community early on and hear their feedback regarding our proposed development plans,” said Denise Juron-Borgese, Vice President of Development and Planning, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation. “With over half the site devoted to major public amenities, we believe our concept will contribute to the vibrancy of downtown Buffalo and be a place where Western New Yorkers gather for years to come.”

Check out this project overview video.