Benchmark Group's proposed infill project at 766 Elmwood Avenue is heading to the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday. The three-story mixed-use building with retail space along Elmwood and 24 apartments on the upper floors would be built on a surface parking lot located between Globe Market and 7-11. Karl Frizlen, project architect, says the new building will adhere to the Elmwood Village Design Standards but needs a variance from the City. It is similar in design to the successful mixed-use building Frizlen designed for the Krog Corp. at Elmwood and Bryant.
From the project narrative:
The 3-story mixed-use building in the core of the 700 Elmwood block will greatly enhance the urban character and vitality of the block. The building meets the sidewalk and storefronts wrapping around the building will provide ample window shopping and eye contact between storeowner and shoppers on the street. The parking is tucked away under the building and accessible from the alley in the rear. The curb cuts are eliminated guaranteeing a contiguous pedestrian environment where safe congregation can take place. The tenants of the upper floor apartments will support and enhance the commercial activities in the Village and the project will contribute to a substantial increase to the City's tax base.
Amherst-based Benchmark owns a number of area commercial and residential properties including the Stuyvesant Plaza on Elmwood at North and the retail building housing Spot Coffee and Blockbuster Video across from the site at 765 Elmwood.
The project does need a variance for the residential density that is being proposed. Frizlen has designed and/or developed several Elmwood Village projects including 448 Elmwood, 504 Elmwood and the apartments at 305 W. Utica Street.