Most development in Buffalo has been by local firms: Ellicott Development, Ciminelli, Uniland, Rocco Termini, Roger Trettel, Larkin Development Group, Savarino Cos., Sinatra & Company Realty, Benderson Development, Karl Frizlen, The McGuire Group, Mark Croce, TM Montante, Jake Schneider, Krog Corp., Doug Swift, Terry Pegula, and others.
It was only a matter of time before outside developers took notice. One is apparently ready to take the leap. Miller Valentine Group (MVG), an Ohio-based developer, property manager, and contractor, is looking to acquire and renovate the former A&P Warehouse at 545 Swan Street. The A&P property occupies the block bounded by Swan, Hamburg, Myrtle and Jefferson Avenue at the edge of the Larkin District.
The eight-story A&P Warehouse would be converted at a cost of over $26 million and contain approximately 120 apartments and indoor parking. Apartments would include both market-rate and income-restricted units (typically 60 or 80 percent of area median income). Architecture, engineering and interior design firm Carmina Wood Morris is preparing the reuse plan and the project is listed as an informational item on the November 6 Preservation Board agenda. The property is not within a preservation district but the project is expected to utilize historic preservation tax credits.
A development group headed by Rocco Termini had eyed the property for conversion to 150 to 200 apartments and a new home for the City Mission last year. The City Mission reversed course and decided to expand and its present location at Oak and E. Tupper streets.
The A&P property is adjacent to another adaptive reuse project that will feature 31 market-rate apartments and 18,500 sq.ft. of office space at 550 Seneca Street. It is being undertaken by Frontier Group of Companies. CSS Construction will be an investor and serve as the general contractor for the $5.4 million project that has also been designed by Carmina Wood Morris.
Miller Valentine Group’s proposed development is across the street from Savarino Companies and FFZ Holdings’ 500 Seneca Street project that will include 140 lofts. Box Factory Lofts will be located in the oldest portion of the complex at Hamburg and Seneca streets. Work on both the 500 Seneca and 550 Seneca projects is underway.