Could the Theater District be getting a new hotel? Yes, if rumors are true. A few sources say Ellicott Development would love to build a 100-120 room hotel at Pearl and E. Tupper streets as part of reuse of the Buffalo Christian Center. Ellicott purchased the ornate building one year ago and hinted about big plans for the neighborhood in this The Buffalo News story when Road Less Traveled announced plans to move into the building:
Road Less Traveled’s move also is the first public phase of an ambitious development plan for the neighborhood that Ellicott Development CEO William A. Paladino hinted would involve several of the company’s properties on the edge of the Theatre District. Paladino said the company would officially unveil its plans in the next month for the neighborhood and the building.
That month has come and gone without any announcements. Sources say Ellicott would incorporate the Christian Center into the hotel. Hang-ups are parking and assembling a large enough development footprint to accommodate a multi-use development. Sources say that Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps (BCAR) has been quietly approached about building a ramp as part of the project. While BCAR’s wallet is thick, it is expected to be paying for a ramp if the surface lot at 201 Ellicott Street is developed.
A ramp/hotel project is also likely going to need additional property. Sinatra & Company paid $945,000 for the four-story apartment building at 329 Franklin Street last year, a price that appeared to be high for the existing building but a reasonable price if it was part of a larger development. A Neighboring parking lot at 305 Franklin is owned by Gracy Lattanzio’s 490 Pearl Street Inc. and the Body Blocks Building at 496 Pearl Street owned by RPB Holdings.
There are some rumblings at Canalside. We hear that Explore and More Children’s Museum will now be in a stand-alone structure as opposed to a mixed-use building that Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation was trying to get a private sector developer to construct but failed. The museum is said to be pegged for the same South Aud Block site as previously planned:
ECHDC is also getting ready to put out an RFP for this block directly across from HARBORCENTER fronting Main Street:
810 Main Street Under Contract
There’s a sale said to be in the works for Artvoice’s building at 810 Main Street and a small restaurant building next door. The .26 acre site fronts both Main and St. Louis Place and the buildings have 16,700 sq.ft. of space.
In the budding Ganson Street/Ohio Street corridor, we hear the GLF Elevator is under contract for $500,000. 323-339 Ganson Street is owned by Great Lakes Fishing Club and is located between Buffalo RiverWorks and a vacant riverfront parcel that Ellicott Development Company obtained at auction in June.
201 Ellicott RFP
Mayor Brown told WBFO that the City received three responses to the Request for Qualifications for development of a surface parking lot at 201 Ellicott Street last week. The City is seeking a developer to construct a mixed-use project that would contain a grocery store, residential units, and potentially space for Erie Community College. A large parking component, likely paid for by Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, would be part of the mix.
While Brown hasn’t released the names of the firms that submitted – we have heard some names from multiple sources. All three are well-known, primarily suburban developers that have completed projects downtown.