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Ellicott Development updates plans for 500 Pearl St.

Ellicott Development Co. will tweak some of the colors and materials on its proposed 12-story complex at 500 Pearl St.

The project was approved in December with an "edgy, modern exterior" that included precast concrete, glass, and both smooth and perforated metal paneling, but the developer received the green light from the Planning Board this week to update the plans.

The new plans will increase the ground floor ceiling height, introducing more reflectivity in the glass curtain wall and changing the patterns of the horizontal bands and vertical metal screen above pedestrian entrances on Franklin and West Tupper streets. The color of some of the metal panels have also been changed to white.

The board determined the changes were not significant. "It lightens the building up a bit. It's still a big building, but it doesn't feel as massive," said Vice Chair Cynthia Schwartz. "These are minor cosmetic changes."

The $66 million project calls for a 300,000-square-foot building on a vacant 100-space surface parking lot next to the Buffalo Christian Center. The project covers the corner of Franklin and Tupper streets, where the Bachelor Apartments stood before the building was demolished last year.

The tower would include a ramp with six floors and 390 parking spaces, a three-story branded hotel with 109 to 112 rooms, and 28 apartments on two upper floors.

Ellicott CEO William Paladino would not say what flag or name the hotel would carry, saying it's not final.

Plans also include 12,000 square feet of first-floor retail and one floor of 28,000 square feet of office space.

The 70,000-square-foot Buffalo Christian Center would be incorporated into the complex, housing the main lobby, lounge area, a cafe, banquet and meeting spaces, a basement pool and spa, and back-of-house hotel functions. Road Less Traveled Productions would also remain in that building’s Forbes Theatre.

The first phase is slated to finish by June 2018, with full completion by October 2018.

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