Article via Buffalo Business First
By Jim Fink
The Buffalo Planning Board, unanimously, approved by investors who want to renovate the Bison Storage Building on Niagara Street into a complex anchored by market-rate apartments; a proposal by Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. to do the same with a six-story Washington Street building; two from Ellicott Development Co. — one to convert a vacant Busti Avenue warehouse into a residential-anchored complex; and another construct 14 upscale townhouses in Waterfront Village.
Collectively, the four projects will add 118 new residential units in Buffalo and represent more than $27.5 million in private-sector investment.
Three of the four buildings date back to the early 1900s.
• A development team led by Angelo Natale, founder of Natale Development, will be investing at least $6 million to transform the circa 1911 former Bison Storage and Warehouse complex at 1502 Niagara Street into a building anchored by 41 market-rate apartments.
Natale and his team is working with the Buffalo architecture and engineering firm, Carmina Wood & Morris P.C., to design the building, which has been dubbed the Crescendo.
“The building will be completely restored,” architect Steve Carmina said.
Apartments are planned for the building’s upper floors while its first floor will likely house either a restaurant or brewery.
“We have a lot of options,” Carmina said.
With work scheduled to start this year, the first tenants could be moving into the Crescendo by late 2015 or early next year.
• Just a few blocks south from the Natale project, Ellicott Development received the go-ahead to renovate Busti Avenue warehouse into a mixed-use project with 18 market-rate apartments on its upper floors and office and retail tenants on its first two floors. Ellicott Development said it invest $7 million in the project.
The Buffalo company also received approval from the board to build 14 townhouses as part of its Waterfront Place project that includes the 11-story Pasquale condo tower. The townhouses carry a $4.5 million development price tag.
Tom Fox, Ellicott project manager, said interest remains strong in the townhouses with five either under contract or close to being put under contract.
Construction will start next month.
• Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. was approved for a residential project at 465 Washington St. in downtown Buffalo. Ciminelli recently acquired the former University at Buffalo Employment Opportunity Center with the intent of turning the nearly century-old structure into 45 apartments with some first floor office and retail. The project carries a $10 million construction price tag and is expect to open by the end of the year.
“We will be marketing this to a transit-oriented crowd,” said Amber Holycross, project manager. “And, also to empty-nesters.”
The project is one of two major residential developments Ciminelli has in the downtown Buffalo economic development pipeline. The company is also working on bringing upscale townhouses and condos to a vacant parcel in Waterfront Village.