U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Buffalo area
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-22-2017, 08:14 AM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 497,209 times
Reputation: 430

Advertisements

This is an update from last year with the proposed demolition of existing houses that have store fronts on Elmwood, just south of Forest Ave. to make room for a upscale apartment complex.

From the Buffalo News;
Quote:
By Jonathan D. Epstein Mon, Apr 24, 2017

For the second time in recent months, a developer behind a controversial Elmwood Avenue apartment complex has cut the size of the proposed building in an effort to fend off vehement neighborhood criticism and win approval for the project. Chason Affinity Companies on Monday filed an amended proposal for its mixed-use project at the corner of Elmwood and Forest avenues, which it has dubbed 1111 Elmwood. The company's goal is to address the concerns expressed by Elmwood Village residents, who loudly opposed the project last year as out of scale with the neighborhood.

"This was something we've been working on for months," said architect Steven Carmina, of Carmina Wood Morris PC. "The end result is something we think is buildable and that the residents see as a compromise position." The revised plan - which Chason calls its "mitigation design" - cuts the height of the building by one floor, and reduces the number of units by 20 percent from the original 57. It also shrinks the building's width by five feet, increases retail space, and slashes the interior parking component.

Those factors - the height, density and overall size of the building - were among the biggest bones of contention for critics, who complained that the original proposal would not only damage the character of Elmwood but also violate the new Green Code. "Although the public record... reveals that the project as originally designed enjoys significant support from residents and merchants, particularly those in close proximity to the site, Affinity hereby proposes a mitigation design that is intended to further reinforce its commitment to a project that harmonizes Affinity's goals and objectives with community feedback and the requirements of the newly enacted [Green Code]," attorney Steven J. Ricca of Bond Schoeneck & King wrote in a letter to the Buffalo Planning Board.

The new proposal calls for a four-story building, with 40 condos and three retail spaces of up to 3,500 square feet each on the first floor. The condos -- of one-, two- and three-bedroom types -- will range in size, starting at about 1,200 square feet. The individual units will be redesigned, and prices have not yet been set, Chason Affinity Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Birtch said. The fourth floor steps back 54 feet from the main facade, down from 62 feet, and the building will be 315 feet wide. Uncovered rooftop balconies have been replaced with smaller stacked balconies with a low slope roof, and the roofline has now been changed to distinguish between the condo and retail sections.

A single underground floor of parking will now have 97 spaces, down from 140 on two levels. And there's now a single two-way driveway on Forest, rather than one each on Forest and Elmwood. "This was a long, exhaustive process," Birtch said. "We think it will address the concerns of the very few people who object. We certainly hope that they feel what we've done is positive." The new design will still "include architectural elements inspired by local iconic structures that are intended to respect and, in fact, improve the architectural fabric of the neighborhood," Ricca wrote. And the "high-quality, updated classic features" will be constructed of brick, pre-cast concrete and a broader mix of materials that will vary in type and finish at different levels. "Great care has been given to creating a building design which respects the historic fabric of the neighborhood and adjoining commercial and residential land uses," Ricca wrote.

He noted that the developer "is mindful" of community concerns about the original height and width of the project. And he reiterated that the firm is still pulling back the top floor and tiering the design so that the building gets lower at each end compared to the center. The building will also still have a large fully transparent glass atrium and pocket park in the middle, to break up the facade. Those were also part of the original plan. At the same time, he argued that forcing the project to adhere to new width requirements in the Green Code would "severely frustrate" the developer's "goal of providing a high-quality, parking-neutral mixed-use building with increased density." The developer already combined 12 parcels into two.

The new plan is slated to be considered by the Planning Board at its May 8 meeting. It also still would need six variances and Common Council approval. The changes come five months after a fiery public hearing, in which opponents outnumbered supporters by more than two to one. And it's similar to what Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. was forced to do further south, at Elmwood and Bidwell Parkway, when it temporarily eliminated one of two proposed buildings and cut the height of the second in the face of the same public firestorm.

But Carmina said that wasn't the only reason for the changes, citing cost, demand and "maintaining a certain level of quality in the building that had a direct correlation to density." "There were many factors that played into the decision to do it. There was no single driving force," he said. "This is a project that consistently and continuously changed, and was modified every time we met with the residents. We listened to some, to those who were objective, and the result is what you see."
Attached Thumbnails
Elmwood and Forest Ave. apartment projects-elmwood-forest-apartment-project-1.jpg   Elmwood and Forest Ave. apartment projects-elmwood-forest-apartment-project-2-rear.jpg   Elmwood and Forest Ave. apartment projects-elmwood-forest-apartment-project-overview.jpg  
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-22-2017, 08:32 AM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 497,209 times
Reputation: 430
Default Zoning Board tables Elmwood-Forest project after spirited public hearing

Why is it these non city types don't seem to have a clue where to build something without tearing something down, then 'shoehorn' something in to fill the void where it barely fits???

The West Side, especially Elmwood Ave. is very dense since it is the oldest part of the city. That automatically puts restraints on what and where something can go. As I have said before, spread the wealth. I do agree those 5 or 6 'houses' that have store fronts that would be demolished would be an improvement inspite of them being older homes. But, since they are more 'business' and kind of crammed together, their loss wouldn't be that bad, but replacing them with a building with no setback and even three stories, it would be overwhelming. If there was a setback it would soften the blow, but there isn't room of that.

Not residential, but this bring up that monstrous bulding on Main St & Allen as part of the medical campus. It look like a skyscraper, more likely what would be in downtown Manhattan considering it's right up against the sidewalk. Drive up Allen St from Elmwood towards Main St, it looks like a skyscraper. No idea how that slipped thru.

From the Buffalo News;
Quote:
By Jonathan D. Epstein Wed, Jun 21, 2017

After more than three hours of testimony, Chason Affinity Co.'s request for six zoning variances for an Elmwood Avenue condominium project was tabled by the Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday, further holding up the $30 million project that has already lingered in uncertainty for months. The panel had started discussion on the matter in order to make a ruling, when members decided they needed more time to review written and oral statements, as well as the environmental impact findings.

The board's action – at the end of a five-hour meeting – followed a noisy and spirited public hearing in Common Council Chambers at City Hall, interrupted by frequent applause from one side of the room or the other. Supporters backed a project they believe will bring more vibrancy to the neighborhood. Opponents sought to beat back what they view as a precedent-setting effort to get around the new Green Code. Chason has been working to alleviate concerns and opposition to the development, meeting with neighbors and community leaders over the past year, while scaling back its plan and making other design changes to make it more aesthetically appealing.

The company has held more than 30 meetings with neighbors, focusing particularly on residents of Penhurst Park and Granger Place behind the project site. "It's been extremely positive, especially in that neighborhood," said developer Mark Chason, president and owner of the company. "People are pretty excited about seeing this hopefully go forward." Under its most current iteration that was unveiled a few weeks ago, the developer is now proposing to construct a four-story condominium project at Elmwood and Forest avenues, with 40 one-, two- and three-bedroom residential units for sale, plus three ground-floor retail spaces and a single level of 97 underground parking spaces. That's enough for each resident to have two spaces, with 17 extras for retailers or other needs.

Critics objected strenuously Wednesday to the height and length of the proposed development along Elmwood, which they say is far too big, inappropriate and out-of-scale for the neighborhood. In particular, they argued the project would violate the city's newly enacted zoning and land-use regulation that many said they spent hours working to develop. The Green Code limits the height of buildings in the Elmwood Village to three stories and 44 feet, and restricts how long new construction projects can stretch along the street to 120 feet. Chason's project is four stories and 315 feet long. Two of the six variance requests dealt with those issues – while the others involved minor subjects, such as the height of windowsills.

Critics asserted that the developer should be forced to comply without granting any variances, lest developers of other projects try the same thing. Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. has another pending proposal down the street that has also evoked controversy. "It is incumbent on this board to tell developers that it is no longer the Wild Wild West," said Jessie Fisher, executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. "Stand up for the Green Code. We developed this together. Tell the developers to come back to us when you have a code-compliant building."

On the other side, many neighbors and other residents touted the benefits of the project in bringing more resident-owners to the area, who would care about the community and spend needed money in nearby shops. "An urban area needs to grow and evolve. If we become static, we die," said Catherine Gillespie, of Bryant Street. "It is important for retailers on Elmwood to have foot traffic and people who live in the area coming and shopping. If we don't have people who live there, that's not going to happen." They argued that what was termed a gateway to the Elmwood Village is currently more of an eyesore that needs an upgrade.

"This is a game-changer," said Scott Sandell, of Ashland Avenue. "This project is just common sense to be able to improve a corner that is quite frankly ugly." Common Councilmember Joel Feroleto – who until now had declined to publicly express a viewpoint – gave his backing to the project and its variances, after asking for and receiving an opinion from the city's deputy corporation counsel that an approval would not set a precedent. He and Chason representatives noted that every project must be considered independently on its own merits.

Feroleto noted that "there is significant support" in the "immediate neighborhood" around the project, citing letters and petitions to the ZBA from 80 percent of homeowners on Penhurst Place and from every building owner on the block of Elmwood who owns a business. By contrast, he said, he has not received one letter of opposition from any business owner on Elmwood. He rejected contention that the Green Code is inflexible. "There's a notion that any project that applies for a variance is bad. That is simply not true," Feroleto said. "New York State law allows for any property owner to apply for a variance, which is what is happening here."

Feroleto and Chason representatives noted that the Green Code as written would actually allow Chason to build a three-story building that is 27,000 square feet larger than what was presented, with firewalls every 120 feet to break it up in three pieces. It could also extend to just 15 feet from the property line on Granger Place, instead of the 52 feet distance that is proposed. No zoning variance would be needed for it, and such a project could include more than 130 units, or twice as many student-housing beds. "So when you think about the alternatives that could go on the site, what could be built there is pretty nasty," said architect Steven Carmina.

Steve Ricca of Bond Schoeneck & King, the attorney for Chason, also said that the variances being requested were necessary only because of last-minute changes to the Green Code that were highly restrictive for the Elmwood Village and that removed a "grandfather clause" that would have applied. "There are times when variances are a good thing," Chason said. "Sometimes a variance will make it a better project." The Chason plan was already reduced from a prior plan several months ago that called for a five-story building with 57 units and two levels of parking – one above ground – with 140 spaces. And it's a far cry from the original project eight years ago that called for a taller hotel on the site.

It's also five feet shorter, at 315 feet in length. The top floor is set back from the facade by another eight feet "so it's barely visible from the street," Chason said. And one of two driveways has been eliminated along with the ground level of parking. The fourth floor now has a mansard roof, instead of a vertical wall. All units have patios, but front balconies have been replaced with "Juliet" railings and doors, so that residents have more space inside the condos. The company has introduced different colors of brick and other materials, as well as setbacks, to redesign the front facade so it looks like nine different buildings – seven walk-up townhomes at one end, a glass-enclosed courtyard and pocket park in the middle, and a main building at the far end – rather than a single monolithic structure. "We really went through great lengths to make this work," said Chason Affinity CEO Jeffrey Birtch.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2017, 05:52 PM
 
64 posts, read 37,740 times
Reputation: 53
Move the condo development to forest and niagra under the skyway....that should perk the westside up some and give the upscale hipsters water and traffic views also....
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2017, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Buffalo/Utica NY
135 posts, read 109,570 times
Reputation: 153
I just got back from D.C. and these types of projects are commonplace.

Grow up.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2017, 04:14 PM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 497,209 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeboy View Post
Move the condo development to forest and niagra under the skyway....that should perk the westside up some and give the upscale hipsters water and traffic views also....
That area has been already developed for student housing for Buff State. Not a wise mix.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2017, 09:55 AM
 
64 posts, read 37,740 times
Reputation: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
That area has been already developed for student housing for Buff State. Not a wise mix.
There is no way they are going to get Buffalo to rise again if they keep building WELFARE housing for students...for foreign students for inner city WELFARE students who have no business being in college and silly Bolivian circle liberal white kids....

Last edited by Deeboy; 06-28-2017 at 10:44 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2017, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
10,951 posts, read 8,374,806 times
Reputation: 11180
Please don't report every post you disagree with. Unless the terms of service are being disregarded, you're just wasting everyone's time. Thank you.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2017, 10:57 AM
 
64 posts, read 37,740 times
Reputation: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
This is an update from last year with the proposed demolition of existing houses that have store fronts on Elmwood, just south of Forest Ave. to make room for a upscale apartment complex.

From the Buffalo News;

The housing to be built is too expensive for Buffalo area natives...The housing will be occupied by out of town Hipsters slackers who want to downsize to an inexpensive city and inadvertently displacing poor and working people who contribute more to the culture and charm of the community than lazy Hipsters who carry illusions of Grandeur and intellect..

If they want to improve that area have them tear out that mental hospital and move the patients to some rural county someplace....
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2017, 06:57 PM
 
790 posts, read 493,682 times
Reputation: 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeboy View Post
The housing to be built is too expensive for Buffalo area natives...The housing will be occupied by out of town Hipsters slackers who want to downsize to an inexpensive city and inadvertently displacing poor and working people who contribute more to the culture and charm of the community than lazy Hipsters who carry illusions of Grandeur and intellect..

If they want to improve that area have them tear out that mental hospital and move the patients to some rural county someplace....
I agree new housed are too expensive. Single family housing is even worse; the median price so far for new homes has been around $300,000.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2017, 05:57 AM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 497,209 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeboy View Post
There is no way they are going to get Buffalo to rise again if they keep building WELFARE housing for students...for foreign students for inner city WELFARE students who have no business being in college and silly Bolivian circle liberal white kids....
They are not "welfare housing", a derogative term form the 70's & 80's long before your time according to your inaccurate, slanted, misinformed ramblings.
For the rest of that racist rant, it has no place here.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Buffalo area
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top