Via Buffalo Business First
By Jim Fink
With a key Buffalo approval in hand, Ellicott Development Co. is looking at a spring start for its latest mixed-use project in Buffalo.
The Buffalo Planning Board, Wednesday morning, gave unanimous approval to Ellicott Development for its proposed L-shaped, four-story building at the corner of Elmwood and W. Delavan avenues. Construction on the $10 million, privately-funded project will likely start in 2015’s first quarter once the former gas station site is remediated.
“This is a huge improvement for that corner,” said Buffalo attorney Horace Gioia, a planning board director
The building will include a 5,000-square-foot, street-level restaurant run by prominent local restaurateurs Henry Gorino and Chuck Mauro and 21 market-rate apartments. Some additional street-level retail, roughly 1,500-square-feet, is also planned.
“That corner is such an eyesore,” said Nicholas Sam, an Elmwood Village resident. “This is really going to change that corner.”
William Paladino, Ellicott Development president and CEO, said he hopes the building is tenant-ready by early 2016.
The apartments will range in size from 850-square-feet to 1,800-square-feet and be marketed to a more upscale residential customer.
Gorino said the restaurant will include an outdoor patio overlooking Elmwood Avenue and a second-floor patio, also overlooking Elmwood Avenue, that will be used for private parties. The restaurant, the fourth operated by the Gorino/Mauro tandem, will have a menu modeled after their Rocco’s operation on Transit Road in Clarence. Rocco’s features wood-oven cooked specialty pizzas.
Gorino said he hopes to employ as many as 85 workers at the still-to-be-named restaurant, many from the immediate Elmwood Avenue and West Side neighborhoods. Between their four restaurants, Gorino and Mauro will have more than 250 employees.
While there were some concerns from nearby residents about parking issues related to the project, Ellicott Development’s Tom Fox assured the board that there will be ample parking between on-site 28 spaces plus other nearby locations that the company either owns, controls or will be leasing.
Valet parking will also be offered for restaurant patrons.
“We do understand there is a parking issue in the neighborhood,” Fox said.
Fox also said the building with its unique wood and brick design will fit in well with the Elmwood Village business and residential district. The design and project was endorsed by the influential Elmwood Village Association earlier this fall.
“It does meet all the EVA (Elmwood Village Association) design standards,” said James Morrell, Buffalo Planning Board chairman.