Common Council members question Willoughby Exchange building - The Buffalo News
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Common Council members question Willoughby Exchange building

A 10-story apartment building planned for the corner of Main and East Ferry streets received the same reception from Common Council members as it did from the city Planning Board.

Lawmakers said they will table the plan, and suggested the developer meet with nearby residents to come up with an alternative the neighborhood supports.

Neighborhood opposition to the proposed building was strong when a Council committee reviewed the project Tuesday.

Otis Place residents said the building will create a traffic nightmare for their neighborhood, infringe upon areas where their children now play, and overshadow all the homes in the area.

Residents asked that the project be tabled, to give the developer a chance to meet with neighbors.

A representative from HOME – the fair housing organization Housing Opportunities Made Equal – also attended the meeting, and argued that the apartment building would further stratify the community, creating apartments that people who live in the surrounding neighborhood cannot afford.

Colby Smith, president of Colby Development, spoke on behalf of Craig Willoughby, who is proposing the $26 million project, to be known as Willoughby Exchange.

Smith said the project will not create feared parking and traffic issues since it has underground parking. He said the building will not be blocking full sun exposure, and that apartment pricing will be in line with recently renovated apartments nearby.

The development would be in the Masten Council District. Masten Councilman Ulysees O. Wingo Sr. told his colleagues on the Legislation Committee he’d like to see the plan tabled, as residents requested, when the full Council meets next week.

The Planning Board tabled the proposal Monday.


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