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West End residential project planned for Waterfront Village

by James Fink
Fri, Jan 12th 2018 02:00 pm
Buffalo Business First  [ View Original Article ]

After spending more than three years meeting with Waterfront Village residents and tweaking development plans, Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. is proposing an upscale townhouse/condo project that not only meets various Buffalo codes but also addresses issues raised during the neighborhood sessions.

The result is "The West End" project that will be under a formal city review process Jan. 16 when the Buffalo Planning Board begins a mandated environmental review.

The revised development is 60 percent smaller in terms of square footage — 67,000-square-feet vs. 168,000-square-feet — and puts a greater emphasis on green space along the 2.43 acre Lakefront Boulevard parcel, located just north of Ojbawa Circle and the 11-story Admiral's Walk condo tower.

Revised plans call for seven townhouses, each three stories and only 38 feet, 8 inches in height.

Six of the townhouses will have three bedrooms spread among their 3,300-square-feet while the seventh will be 4,900-square-feet and include 2.5-car garage and 3.5 bathrooms.

series of four condo buildings, each with six units, will adjoin the townhouses. The three-story condos will each have two bedrooms and average 1,800 square feet. Master bedrooms will face the downtown Buffalo skyline and the living area will overlook Lake Erie.

The residential project was designed by Carmina Wood & Morris, a prominent Buffalo architecture and engineering firm.

Amber Holycross, Ciminelli senior development manager and West End project manager, said the complex was designed to be compatible with other developments in Waterfront Village. Ciminelli held seven community meetings to answer concerns about the project.

"What you see is in response to our engagement with the Waterfront Village community," Holycross said. "And, it is Green Code compliant."

Ciminelli was selected by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, following and RFP process that began four years ago, that focused on the vacant parcel. The city agency named Ciminelli designed developer for the parcel in 2015 and since then company officials have worked with city representatives and residents on various design options, most centering on a proposed four-story condo building.

In 2015, Ciminelli representatives said they expect to invest at least $20 million in the project, including buying the land from the city for $2.2 million. The Buffalo Common Council still has to approve the land sale.

Holycross said all of the West End townhouses and condos will be "for sale" only.

Pending various Buffalo approvals including from the planning board, Ciminelli hopes to start the project in the fall.

"It will be developed in phases, depending on market strength," said Anne Duggan, Ciminelli assistant vice president.

Hayes Construction Services of Buffalo has been retained as the project's construction manager.

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