Article via The Buffalo News
By Jonathan D. Epstein
Another 12-story hotel tower could be coming to downtown Buffalo.
Ellicott Development Co. will submit plans next month to the city for a major new mixed-use tower on a vacant surface parking lot just to the west of the Buffalo Christian Center at 500 Pearl St., which Ellicott also owns. The lot stretches from Tupper Street south to a neighboring parking lot at the back of Encore, and west to Franklin Street.
The proposed new structure would include six floors of parking, for more than 350 vehicles, plus a 109-room hotel, 28 apartments and one floor of office space. Officials have not determined further details, including the cost or whether the hotel will be independent or flagged with a national brand, said Tom Fox, director of development for Ellicott.
The developer initiated an environmental review by the Buffalo Planning Board Monday night, and will seek approval in December. Fox said officials are hoping to “be in the ground in the springtime,” with a goal of finishing in 2017.
“We’re hoping for a speedy approval process,” Fox said. “We’re working on construction documents.”
Ellicott bought the Buffalo Christian Center in September 2014 for $2.525 million, and has spent more than a year firming up plans for the facility at the corner of Tupper and Pearl streets. Officials have not disclosed those plans up until now, but Fox said the existing building will be linked internally to the new tower, with shared uses. For example, the hotel tower will largely contain the hotel rooms themselves, while other related functions – such as a banquet space, a lounge or reception area – could be in the Buffalo Christian Center building.
“It’s a separate building. It’s adjacent to it, but the uses in the new building will tie into the Christian center,” he said. “They will operate as one.”
The Buffalo Christian Center building also houses the Forbes Theater, currently home to Road Less Traveled Productions, which will not be affected, Fox said.