There’s no arguing that Buffalo is home to some very unique buildings. Anyone that follows BRO knows that we love to discuss what makes our city’s building stock so special. In the past our forefathers made a few terrible decisions when it came to a handful of iconic buildings and their ill-fated meetings with the wrecking ball. Many of the mistakes were irreversible and we will forever be paying for those poor decisions. We have seen the good, bad and the ugly, yet despite all of our past misgivings Buffalo is finally coming full circle and our city’s architectural legacy looks brighter than ever.
Recently there has been a renewed interest in preserving our built environment (Granite Works, Sidway, Larkin). We have also witnessed the completion of the inspiring Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Facility. Buffalo is finally becoming revered for its historic architecture and more and more people are coming up with ways to market our treasures to out-of-towners. Wouldn’t it be cool to add some more modern buildings to the mix? That mix is exactly what so many other cities have focused on. That’s why I am so excited to hear that Uniland Development Company has announced the names of the architectural team that will take our city to the next level when it comes to 21st century world-class design. The 33 Gates Circle 1st class high-rise condo project has been jointly awarded to world acclaimed architects Diamond & Schmitt (D&S) based out of Toronto along with hometown heavy hitters Hamilton Houston Lownie.
Diamond & Schmitt Slideshow
The team was carefully picked to run with one of the most exciting new building designs that this city has seen in long time. Like Kleinhans Music Hall in its day the designers of e33i want to build a structure that is totally unique to Buffalo. At the same time they are taking careful consideration of the existing elements that comprise the property (zoned R4 since 1925) and its surroundings. The idea is to create a modern masterpiece that plays off the historic landscape. Ultimately the project will reach 15 to 20 stories, will showcase 60-70 condos (running from $300,000 to $1 million+ for penthouse homes), will include underground parking and will hi-light landscape architecture the likes of which no one has seen around the city.
e33i will become a signature development for the city. Imagine driving south on Delaware Avenue as you pass Forest LawnOe as you follow the bend suddenly 33 Gates Circle will signal your approach to a city that embraces the future. Imagine what it will be like as your car travels past Gates Circle and you see a progressive building that other cityis would not only welcome, but would embrace.
Uniland is already fielding phone calls from potential buyers and 3/4 of them are coming from places other than the city. These are people who have been waiting for an opportunity to live in an urban environment with amenities that people in other cities take for granted. Buffalois current loft conversions are fantastic, but what about the folks that want to own their own places. e33i will make a huge economic impact on Buffalo. Think of the construction. Think of the influx of homeowners with disposable income. And think of the small footprint that all of it sits on. When this project is built it will act as a catalyst for more development opportunities. Here is an opportunity to snag a modern high-rise built by an international award winning team of architects.
Uniland pitted Diamond & Schmitt/HHLis portfolios against architects from across the country. In their search they pinpointed a team that has both world-renowned design status as well as a knowledge of Buffalois historical landscape. HHLis portfolio ranges from the Darwin Martin House Complex and the Market Arcade Complex to ECCis Flickinger Athletic Center and 285 Delaware (currently under construction). Lead architect Diamond & Schmittis portfolio is breathtaking: Symphony Orchestra Hall in Detroit, Torontois new opera house, condos on the Black Sea, JCC project in Manhattan, Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC., and the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Don Schmitt, Principle at D&S, spent the latter part of yesterday studying buildings in downtown Buffalo and had this to say, iWhat you have here is truly awesome. We are going to design a building that captures the spirit of Buffalois greatest architectural landmarks while creating something that is utterly unique and forward thinking.i
Uniland is fielding a team that wants to hit a serious homerun in WNY. iWe are extremely happy to be investing in a project of such magnitude right in our own backyardi, states Michael Montante, Uniland vice president. iUniland is committed to seeing e33i built and is looking for support from the community.i At the moment the company is reaching out to residents throughout the area who may want to keep abreast of new project developments. Tune in to www.gatescircle.com for the latest news, timelines, etc. Later in the day BRO will be featuring a slideshow featuring projects from both architectural firms.