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Plans for hotel and a Louie’s Texas Hots win Buffalo Planning Board approvals

A boutique hotel on a high-profile corner in downtown Buffalo and a Louie’s Texas Hots in Elmwood Village won approval Tuesday from the city’s Planning Board.

Mark Croce’s plan for the Curtiss Building at 204-216 Franklin St. calls for a 67-unit hotel with a restaurant, rotating bar, spa and parking.

The white 57,500-square-foot building at the corner of Huron Street has been vacant for more than 12 years and is undergoing an $18.1 million makeover. It is being restored and renovated by Young + Wright Architectural with the benefit of historic tax credits. The original plan included banquet facilities, but that has been removed from the project because Croce has banquet space at Statler City, said architect Jerry D. Young.

The project is also benefiting from $685,000 in sales and mortgage tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and a $1.35 million Restore NY grant.

The Planning Board also approved a new Louie’s Texas Hots restaurant on Elmwood Avenue between Forest and Bird avenues.

Carl Anderson Jr. plans to increase the height of the building so it blends in with the rest of the block.

The plan also calls for removing the paint to expose the natural brick, said architect Mike Berger.

Another restaurant in Elmwood Village, at the former HSBC bank at 1000 Elmwood Ave., won approval. Adel Ali proposed The Market, a restaurant with fresh-baked bread, salad bar, fruit bar, ice cream and coffee stations.

A new Fruit Belt market and pharmacy won approval from the Planning Board in a different location.

Sweet Pea’s Market had been planned for the area around 204 High St., but St. John Fruit Belt Community Development Corp., decided to move it to vacant land at 226 High St., amid opposition from historic preservationists over the original plan.

Preservation Board member Tim Tielman still objected to the project, even though the move spares a historic house.

Tielman warned about the Fruit Belt’s historic fabric being destroyed and said the “suburban style” market would look at odds with the character of the neighborhood.

“I’m afraid it will harm … a cohesive historic district,” Tielman said.