Downtown has a lot to be thankful for this holiday. Topping that list is Rocco Termini. The busy developer has completed six residential developments downtown, has one project underway, and is working on plans to redevelop two significant buildings, the Lafayette Hotel and AM&A’s Department Store. Next Tuesday, the Buffalo Planning Board will be reviewing the design for the $70 million restoration of the department store at Main and Eagle streets into a mixed-use complex.
Plans call for underground parking, a first floor food court, second and third
and fourth floor office space, 117 hotel rooms on the Eagle Street side of the building, 28 market-rate senior independent living apartments, and 52 upscale apartments on the top five floors. Carmina Wood Morris is the project architect.
Termini, partnering with the Hamister Group on the hotel project, expects to announce the hotel operator next week. The Buffalo News reports that the Hamister Group will relocate its HQs from Williamsville to the building.
Due to the use of historic preservation tax credits, the exterior and windows will be restored but few exterior alterations are planned. Historic storefronts along Washington Street, destroyed during a previous remodeling, will be recreated. A pocket park is planned between the complex and M&T Plaza to the south.
Although the building has been vacant since 1995, not everyone is on board with the proposal. Several large downtown property owners aren’t pleased with Termini’s request to obtain financing from the State’s Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund. They say a taxpayer subsidy would give Termini an unfair advantage over other downtown properties (more here and here).
Termini is currently converting the former AM&A’s warehouses on Washington Street into a mix of 48 loft apartments and ground floor commercial space. He will also working on plans to convert the Lafayette Hotel into 115 apartments and 15,000 sq.ft. of commercial space. Carmina Wood Morris is the architect on those projects as well.