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Construction Watch: 199 Scott Street

A controversial billboard on the west façade of 199 Scott Street has been removed as Ellicott Development Company’s substantial redevelopment project enters its final stages.  An Ellicott Development representative says that windows will soon be added to the building where the billboard used to hang.  The first commercial tenant has moved into the building’s office space and residential tenants will begin moving in next month.

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Built in 1920, the eight-story Fairmont Creamery Co. structure was most recently used by the Arctic Freezer Company for storage as a refrigerated storage site for Rich Products Corp.  Ellicott Development has owned the 120,000 sq.ft. property since 2001 and it was one of the larger completely vacant buildings downtown.  Its vacancy was hard to hide since the building is adjacent to the I-190 and the now-removed billboard was used by Ellicott Development Chairman Carl Paladino to chastise local business and government leaders.  Containing approximately 122,000 square feet, it is the tallest structure in the Cobblestone District.

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Ellicott Development moved forward with the $14.6 million renovation as development has blossomed in nearby areas including downtown, Canalside, the Cobblestone District, the Ohio Street corridor, and Larkin District.  The refurbished building includes a mix of apartments, office space, restaurant/banquet facilities, and retail space.

Offices are located on the building’s sixth, seventh and eighth floors.  Liazon, a provider of private online benefits exchanges recently purchased by Towers Watson, occupies the eighth floor.  The company is expecting significant growth, up to 500 jobs over the next five years, and recently agreed to lease additional space in the building which has been included in sites eligible for Start-UP NY incentives.

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Thirty apartments are being created on floors three through five, a banquet facility and meeting space are planned on the second floor, and a restaurant is likely for the ground floor where a large elevated terrace has been constructed.  There will be on-site parking for 140 vehicles.  AP Architects designed the project.

Get Connected: Ellicott Development Company, 716.854.0060

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Night image by ScanTron

Written by WCPerspective

WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • whateverr

    I’d never tell him how he should spend his money, but… 
    I often would like the billboard’s content and would like to see it re-appear somewhere else now that he’s decided to install windows on that wall of his.  
    Perhaps upward from from the roof, or if that isn’t practical maybe at some other building or location.

  • GotAnyChange

    Regardless of content, that sort of thing is toxic to attach to a building that is looking to get tenants. Chastise away on separate billboards or signs attached to vacant buildings.

  • GotAnyChange 
    Good idea…done.

  • whateverr

    GotAnyChange
    I agree your point looks reasonable as a business decision.  Some other location for the billboard could be just as good. 

    That said, he did sign up the current tenants before removing it very recently, if I’m not mistaken – although who knows – it’s possible that a tenant demanded in the lease that it be removed as a condition of signing.

  • rockpile38

    GotAnyChange Yea, plus things aren’t going to good for him & Ellicott Development right now.

  • LouisTully

    rockpile38  GotAnyChange ?

  • LouisTully

    The lighting looks fantastic.

  • rockpile38

    LouisTully I was just being sarcastic about Carl posting personal complaints on large billboards because though there are a lot of issues within the school board that need to be worked out, the development business is going strong for him.

  • 16thStreet

    Couldn’t be more pleased with this. Not only is it a great save (day late, dime short, but better than never) but the removal of the stupid billboard; perfect!

  • GotAnyChange An attractive “Welcome to Buffalo!” sign on a beautifully restored building would not be toxic at all.

  • Michael DiPasquale

    I’m happy that this building is (finally) being redeveloped. But I think Liazon (and its employees) would have been a better fit for the Central Business District, not out on the fringe. 
    We need to focus on strengthening the CBD by bringing more housing and businesses there.

  • costrander08

    Michael DiPasquale If one or two of the companies at Crosspoint were brought downtown it would be a great start. I was up that way yesterday and I was amazed at the number of cars in that business park. Just thinking of the number of people working in that park makes me wish they were downtown.

  • biniszkiewicz

    Michael DiPasquale
    “But I think Liazon (and its employees) would have been a better fit for the Central Business District, not out on the fringe. ”
    Why? Are all those Larkin tenants wrongly located? Are Cobblestone businesses wrongly located? Don’t you think people actually running the businesses take all the considerations of location into account?
    I, for one, am happy to see businesses spreading to the fringes of downtown, because that grows downtown. As more outliers populate the fringes, then the breadth and depth of downtown’s ‘safe’ or ‘interesting’ areas correspondingly expands.
    If you have strong feelings about where tenants should be, perhaps you should get a real estate license so you can influence them.

  • rubagreta GotAnyChange 
    I think the restored building is a pretty good welcome sign myself!  🙂

  • manski

    Michael DiPasquale It’s nice to hear a complaint in 2014 about a business location in the wrong section of downtown, vs 5-10 years ago when the complaints were about them moving out of downtown.

    And nice job on the night lighting!

  • brownteeth

    I have to admit when Ellicott wants to get something done they do accomplish it full bore.  I am also happy to see they didn’t rename the building something awful like the Ragu Tower or Lofts @ the Penne.  Ironically after all the controversial billboards he posted the last one was for the Boys & Girls Club I believe.

  • bfranklin

    I’ve driven quite a bit of the city over the last few weeks, looking for a spot or two to invest.  While the BNMC is obviously the project no one can ignore, I’m getting the feeling that the trending area is more to the south than it ever has been (at least in my lifetime).
    Riverbend is going to be huge from an employment stand point (further south on South Park).  Larkin isn’t that far to the north, the Casino, First Niagara Center, and the new HarborCenter and Canal Side.  The other project on the river on Ganson isn’t far away.
    The spots where people launch their kayaks in the Old First Ward are busy on the weekend, with people heading to McCarthy’s for a beer afterward.  The softball fields are full of young people that I don’t think would have been in this area five or ten years ago (do people still go to Delaware park? …somewhat sarcastic..).
    I wonder how much events at Silo City have opened up this area to people that were unfamiliar with it, similar to the Allentown Art Festival showing off Allentown?  Sorry for rambling.  Just think that if the city isn’t going to have success over the next ten to twenty years, we can’t just limit ourselves to thinking that development occurs only in the areas we’re familiar with (EV, Allentown, CBD, etc).
    As the next wave of young people looks for places to live in the city, the old haunts of Allentown and EV probably have priced them out.  Would be nice to see a little more commercial in this area, that seems to have a few bars, kayak launch, parks, but maybe not quite enough yet for a young person to call home.

  • texpat

    Putting it on the roof was sarcasm right?  All that bilboard did is act as personal megaphone promoting a position on issues that anyone from out of town had no idea about.  This was not good for the city and certainly would be no beter on the roof.  My money is on the removal being required by Towers Watson in return for the additional leased space they just committed to, since Carl was adamant that it was not coming down. 
    Now let’s get the Towers Watson (Liazon) name on the building, since this is a well known global consulting firm.  I am all for getting the IBM name up at Key Center as well.
    And credit where it is due; the lighting looks great!

  • bufforward

    I was a little critical earlier in the process but I’m glad to see things keep coming along. It looks better with the billboard down, I noticed it right away driving by. Still wondering why that addition on the top floor is just so darn ugly, but overall things are shaping up pretty nicely.

  • costrander08

    texpat +1. Put Liazon on here, IBM on Key Center, Hilton Garden on the Tishman and DNC on 250 Delaware. I’ve always longed to see more corporate and hotel flags downtown.

  • tjhorner1

    bfranklin Is there a way that I can contact you?  I think we may share a very similar vision.

  • texpat

    Yeah, it is much better to say “Hey look these global corporations have a presence here” than “Hey look how dysfunctional we are.” 
    In the renderings it does look like DNC will have their logo on their new building.

  • solonggone

    costrander08 Michael DiPasquale
    So you want to sell the idea of getting a couple of companies to move out from Crosspoint?  And you noticed how many cars there were?
    Go check the posts on filling in the 33 or how bad cars and parking is…read those from the perspective of a company in Crosspoint.  You’ll see why the odds of them moving are stacked.

  • costrander08

    solonggone costrander08 Michael DiPasquale FWIW I don’t really support filling in the 33 due to the importance it serves as a conduit into downtown. My point was simply that if a few of those companies had been lured DT vs. Getzville that the central business district would be that much busier.

  • costrander08

    texpat I noticed that too. Here’s hoping that remains the case.

  • solonggone

    costrander08 Michael DiPasquale
    Of course it would make a difference and would be a positive for the CBD.  
    That said, there are many reasons why they didn’t.  There is going to be another Geico for the region in the future.  That’s the good news.
    The bad news is the reasons why Geico did not select Buffalo still exist.

  • bfranklin

    tjhorner1 support@36in36.com

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    To see all of the development down by the Casino over the past couple years has truly been amazing.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    Seeing development taking place down by the casino makes me dancie in my pantsie!

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    That’s a really great idea. Seeing corporate banners on newly renovated building would be a huge sign of progress.

  • costrander08

    bfranklin You sound like a perfect champion for 120 S. Park. If only Carr would sell it. Good luck