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Filling in Waterfront Village

After some thirty years, the City of Buffalo is attempting to build-out Waterfront Village. Hoping to capitalize on a strong downtown real estate market, the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency is seeking development ideas for two vacant parcels in Waterfront Village. Proposals for the sites at 10-15 La Riviere Drive and 240-260 Lakefront Boulevard are due November 9.
The 1.4 acre La Riviere parcel is adjacent to Shanghai Reds and the Waterfront Village Center office complex (aerial below). Due to covenants, residential use is not permitted on the site. Previous proposals for the parcel including a new local headquarters for Citadel Communications and a restaurant by the owner of Oliver’s never materialized. According to the City’s Request for Proposals, a mix of office and retail uses is encouraged. Parking as the sole use will not be considered.

Market-rate residential use is exactly what the City has in mind for the 2.4 acre Lakefront Boulevard property (below). The parcels were once targeted for anticipated future phases of the Portside and Marina Park developments. Each project stalled amid sluggish sales after just a handful of units were completed. The parcel includes coveted waterfront frontage.
Previous plans for the Lakefront Boulevard parcel by Richard DiVita met howls of protest from neighbors and the Waterfront Village Advisory Council who preferred the site be converted into a park. DiVita’s plan called for twelve high-end units in the form of two single-family homes and five duplexes with prices from $500,000.
It is an opportune time to be building. Ellicott Development’s Waterfront Place ownhouse and mid-rise condo project is off to a fast start. Pre-sales are approaching the fifty percent mark with units priced from $295,000 to over $1 million for a penthouse.

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