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Uniland Team Shares 250 Delaware Plans with Neighbors

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It was a full house last night at the Embassy Suites’ Encore Room where neighbors and others were given an overview of Uniland’s proposed 250 Delaware Avenue mixed-use project.  The 12-story, $80 million project is proposed for the site of the Delaware Court building at Delaware Avenue and W. Chippewa Street and will combine retail, hotel, and office space along with underground and structured parking.  It is being designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and HHL Architects and will occupy a nearly two-acre site fronting Delaware, W. Chippewa and S. Elmwood Avenue.

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Uniland officials stressed that the rendering released is not the final design and will change.  Throughout the meeting company representatives said that they were open to public input on suggested changes.  Architects from Diamond Schmitt were stuck at the border and missed the meeting.

Some project details:

• The existing Delaware Court building will be demolished and designers at Boston Valley Terra Cotta will be replicating the circa-1917 building’s façade for incorporation into the new building.

• A terra cotta louver system will cover floors two through five where the 120 hotel rooms are located.  A terra cotta rain screen system is proposed for a portion of the building’s west façade.

• The building will be 12-stories and 174’ from street level to rooftop.  Much of building’s façade will be fritted glass curtain wall.

• Parking for 62 cars will be located under the building.

• The first floor will be 26’ in height and include four retail spaces, three along Delaware Avenue and one along W. Chippewa Street.

• A 45’ tall, five-level parking garage will contain parking for 465 vehicles and will occupy nearly half of the site including the S. Elwmood Avenue frontage.  There is a shade structure planned for the top level of the ramp.

• The ramp design was the focus of public comments and Uniland officials acknowledge the façade of the ramp is critically important to the surrounding neighborhood and is a work in progress.  Uniland officials said they were open to changes and suggestions.  Current plans show the façade of the ramp covered by a terra cotta louver system.

• There is no retail planned on the first level of the ramp.  Officials said they would like to put retail in the ramp but suggested that the retail market didn’t support it and pointed to Uniland’s 285 Delaware Avenue project where the ground floor space took several years to fill.

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• A new access drive on the north end of the site would connect Delaware to South Elmwood Avenue (one way Delaware to Elmwood).  The main building would be built over the driveway creating a covered entrance to the hotel.

• An oval-shaped office building lobby will be located at the Delaware/Chippewa corner.

• There will be a heavily-landscaped courtyard located between the building and the parking ramp.  The hotel’s bar/café will open up to the courtyard that is expected to be the focal-point of the development.

• A two-bay loading dock with overhead door is planned for mid-block along Chippewa Street.

• A restaurant is planned on the second level overlooking the Delaware/Chippewa intersection.  The three-level space will include a lounge on the fourth floor.

• The office floors are 28,000 sq.ft. and fill the seventh thru twelfth floors.  The top floor is slightly recessed from the floors below.  An oval landscaped terrace is planned.

• Demolition and site work is expected to begin early next year and construction will take 16-18 months to complete.  The building would open in late-2015.

Uniland Vice President Michael Montante is proud of Uniland’s commitment to the city, particularly the Delaware Avenue corridor where new private sector investment is accelerating.  “Uniland has accounted for 60 percent of the investment in the Delaware Hub,” he says.

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