The Buffalo Planning Board on Monday will hold public hearings on proposals to convert existing former manufacturing facilities on the East Side and in the Old First Ward into apartments and commercial space, alongside a handful of other development projects up for review.
Developers Karl Frizlen and Jason Yots are seeking to renovate the 175,000-square-foot former Barcalo Manufacturing Co. building at 175-245 Louisiana St. – where barcaloungers were made – into a residential and office building. The $25 million adaptive reuse project will include 119 market-rate loft apartments, plus 40,000 square feet of specialty commercial space for a restaurant, laundromat, art space and cafe. It will also include kayak storage and a 46-space indoor parking garage, along with two exterior parking lots with 92 more spaces on three adjacent properties.
Amenities will include a rooftop patio with views of the grain elevators, as well as bike storage and a dog-washing station. The building will also feature "green" elements, such as geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels and high-efficiency appliances.
Located in both a federal Qualified Opportunity Zone and a state Environmental Zone, as well as adjacent to a state Brownfield Opportunity Area, the project will qualify for multiple tax benefits and credits to help finance the cost. Frizlen and Yots plan to seek municipal approvals in early spring, before acquiring the property and starting construction later this year. Plans call for opening by late 2020 or early 2021.
Frizlen and Yots have previously teamed up for the Mattress Factory Lofts at 170 Florida St., a $6.5 million conversion with 34 apartments, and are currently working on the former Black Rock Freight House at 68 Tonawanda St., a $10 million project with 35 apartments.
Additionally, Larry Regan's Regan Development Corp. of Ardsley is still seeking a renewed approval for its $10 million adaptive-reuse proposal to renovate the 100,000-square-foot former Monarch Knitting Co. building.
Plans call for converting the facility at 19 Doat St. into 74 affordable apartments, 5,700 square feet of community space in a former shipping wing and an 8,200-square-foot neighborhood medical clinic. A small one-story connector building would be demolished, as well as part of a center section on the east side of the circa-1916 building.
Regan is partnering with Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of Western New York to provide services to residents, while Jericho Road Community Health Center will run the clinic. The project, dubbed Monarch Knitting Apartments, would include 26 one-bedroom apartments, 45 two-bedroom units and three larger three-bedroom apartments in the four-story building. Twenty-one units would be supportive, reserved for the homeless or those with special needs.
The project, located just off Genesee Street, was approved by the city in January 2018, but the approval expired after one year. The request for a second approval was tabled two weeks ago.
Also up for consideration are:
- A proposal by Rocco Termini to demolish an old concrete block warehouse at 125 Chandler St. in Black Rock and replace it with a new 118-car parking lot to serve the tenants of nearby buildings that he recently renovated.
- A request by Sinatra & Company Real Estate for a special-use permit to enable Duff's Famous Wings to open another location in the vacant former Casa-Di-Pizza storefront at 471 Elmwood Ave., in the Elmwood Village. Plans include 30 tables and 120 seats inside, plus a bar, a banquet space on the second floor, and temporary, seasonal outdoor seating for up to 20. The pizza dish on top of the roof will be removed. The restaurant has been vacant for about a year, after Casa-Di-Pizza moved to East Mohawk Street.
- A request by Michael Gibney of Tonawanda for a special-use permit to open his new Inizio Restaurant at 534 Elmwood, with a seasonal sidewalk cafe, outdoor dining and live music several times a month. The restaurant – in the former Joe's Deli space – would include 19 tables and seating for 63, with three outdoor tables to handle another 12.
- Special-use permits for vaping shops at 1911 Seneca St. and 2525 Delaware Ave.
- The environmental review for the Elmwood Crossing project by Sinatra and Ellicott Development Co., at the former Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo complex.
- Approval of Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.'s construction project at 201 Ellicott St., with 201 affordable apartments and a fresh-foods market. A public hearing was already held on the proposal.
Story topics: affordable housing/ Barcalo Manufacturing Co./ barcaloungers/ Buffalo Planning Board/ Doat Street/ Duff's Famous Wings/ Jason Yots/ jonathan d. epstein/ Karl Frizlen/ Larry Regan/ Regan Development/ special-use permit