Ellicott Development is dusting off renovation plans for the vacant Greystone hotel. Reuse proposals for the Greystone at 24 Johnson Park have come and gone in recent years, but according to Ellicott Development CEO Carl Paladino, he is now moving forward with a residential conversion project.
"Greystone schematics are almost done," said Paladino in an email. He said the firm "will go into working drawings in the next 60 days" and then expects to obtain a building permit within 30 days of application to the City. Paladino said the project to take six months to complete.
The future of the Greystone, a designated landmark in the West Village, has been a sore spot for neighborhood residents and many Buffalo Rising readers for years. Opened in 1897, the former Berkeley Hotel was designed by Carlton Strong. The distinctive building is an early example of reinforced concrete construction.
Ellicott Development purchased the property in March 2002 with plans to convert the complex into a market-rate, 30-unit apartment building. Work came to a halt after a worker fell through an upper floor while gutting the building. Ellicott later declared the structure could not be economically renovated.
As the downtown housing market heated up in early 2006, Ellicott revived plans to convert the building into residences albeit with smaller units than earlier planned. A few months later Rocco Termini and Signature Development announced their intentions to buy the property and take on the conversion project. Signature later decided against proceeding with the development and the building's future turned cloudy.
The large hole in the roof (below) has not been repaired since the accident in 2003. While the building has been in and out of housing court in recent years, Paladino insisted that he would renovate the building. It appears as though the Greystone's time is here.