The Calumet Building is close to welcoming a new tenant and owner. Architect Steve Carmina of Carmina Wood Morris Architects appeared before the Planning Board Tuesday morning with preliminary designs for a transformed courtyard as well as minor exterior changes to the long underused building. The Planning Board approved the project as presented.
"It's what this building has been waiting for for decades," commented Planning Board member Cynthia Schwartz at Tuesday's meeting.
The law firm of Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP, which is in the process of closing a deal to purchase the historic property from current owners Mark Goldman and Arthur Ziller, will relocate their offices to the second and third floors of the building. The firm currently leases 12,000 square feet of space in the Rand building for its Buffalo offices. The move to the Calumet would provide more office space for its 50 person staff.
The plan calls for an urban courtyard to be constructed in the current back patio area that was occupied by the recently closed La Luna Nightclub, which had been a tenant of the building, as well Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant, which will continue to serve as the first floor anchor of the building. The courtyard, located at 233 Franklin, will serve as the main entrance for the law firm and feature grass and perennial landscaping as well as the addition of a three-sided glass elevator lobby. A staircase will wrap around the elevator.
Windows will be replaced throughout the building and the existing murals will be removed. Unsightly restaurant exhaust equipment will be relocated. An outdoor patio bar is possible depending on the needs of the future tenant of the vacant nightclub space while a rooftop patio has been proposed for the final design. Construction is expected to begin the first of the year.