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Chason Affinity project on Elmwood needs environmental review

Developer Chason Affinity's proposed new five-story condominium and retail project on Elmwood Avenue will go through a full environmental impact review, with public hearings, before it can be approved, the Buffalo Planning Board ruled Monday.

Based on a recommendation from the city planning department's staff, the board agreed that the 57-unit project at 1111 Elmwood - which requires the demolition of nine houses on Elmwood and two on Forest Avenue - could have a significant effect on the area that needs to be examined. The developer has already filed with the city a draft environmental impact statement, which will be considered by the Planning Board. Input gathered from public hearings and other public comments will be incorporated into the report, which must be finalized before the project can proceed.

Chason wants to construct its new brick-and-brownstone project on a stretch of Elmwood from Pano's Restaurant to Forest Avenue. Besides the condos, concentrated on the south end, it would include several retail storefronts on the north end. If approved, the developer hopes to begin construction in the spring, with completion in 14 to 16 months.

Chason's original proposal for a seven-story hotel with 120 rooms was shot down by neighbors. But while the project's nature and scale were reduced following neighborhood opposition - including a lawsuit - many in the neighborhood still feel it's too big.



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