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Ciminelli to unveil first look at new downtown grocery

Downtown residents and business owners will get their first look tonight at a proposed new urban grocery in Buffalo's central core, as Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. unveils details and renderings of its newest mixed-use residential and retail development project.

The Amherst-based developer will hold a public information session at 6 p.m. today to reveal a "conceptual plan" for its development at 201 Ellicott St., to be anchored by a new store run by Williamsville-based Tops Markets.

The 2.5-acre lot, which is currently used for 300 surface parking spaces, is surrounded by Ellicott, Oak, Eagle and Clinton streets, adjacent to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority bus terminal, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and Hotel@the Lafayette.

Ciminelli has proposed a multi-story building featuring an urban grocery  of 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, a parking ramp and either apartments or condominiums, meeting the goals set out by the city when it issued a "request-for-qualifications" last year to over 400 potential developers locally and nationwide. The firm was named designated developer for the city-owned site in February but it has released only general plans until now.

The program will be held in the auditorium of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library main branch at 1 Lafayette Square. Parking vouchers for free parking at the Allpro parking lot at 437 Washington St. will be available at the event.

[Related: Tops Markets to occupy store next to downtown library]

Ciminelli representatives will be joined by architects from Cannon Design and officials from Tops to discuss the project. Project team members will be available to speak with members of the community at "information stations" in the lobby of the auditorium. The public can submit comment cards there or online feedback via the project's website.

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