The growth of University at Buffalo and increased demand for both hospitality and living space is prompting another development project near the school’s North Campus.
Ellicott Development Co. is proposing to build a four-story limited-service hotel and up to 24 upscale rental apartments on Rensch Road, virtually across from one of the entrances to the university campus.
Plans for the $12 million project call for a 107-room, 62,000-square-foot hotel that will be flagged with a national brand, along with two separate apartment buildings of eight to 12 units each.
The 3.08-acre property, located at 3880, 3890 and 4030 Rensch Road, is currently owned by John R. Jakala of East Amherst, but Ellicott has it under contract. The land currently has several houses on it, two of which will be demolished while the third historic home at 4030 Rensch will be preserved. The plans by architectural and engineering firm Carmina Wood Morris envision 137 parking spaces, plus new landscaping, lighting and other site improvements.
The project, which is aimed at the UB market, is located across the street from Ellicott’s 105-room Staybridge Suites hotel and the mixed-use University Place apartment and retail complex Bevilaqua Development LP. A People Inc. group home and a UB storage facility are also nearby, as well as other student housing and hotels. But William Paladino, CEO of Ellicott Development, said there’s room for more activity.
“With UB’s expansion and all the things they’ve got going on, it’s been a good market for us,” he said.
The project needs Amherst Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals approvals before work can begin, and Paladino said he expects that will take at least two to three months. Besides the site plan, Paladino is also seeking to rezone the property from the more intensive “research-development” category to “general business” and “multifamily residential.” If approved, construction is slated to start by late summer or early fall, and to wrap up by the spring or summer of 2017.