Construction crews at Uniland Development Company’s 250 Delaware Avenue have been busy camouflaging the attached parking ramp cornering Chippewa and South Elmwood. The façade application consists of thin, staggered terra-cotta strips (or battens) placed horizontally, attached to vertical reliefs. The screen is best viewed at an angle, where it is most effective in sheathing the otherwise basic parking structure and transforming it into a complex that feels a bit lighter and more sculptural.
The horizontal battens also provide some visual continuity to the rest of the complex, flowing from the terra-cotta screen that floats over the future Westin Hotel guest rooms on floors 2-5 of the main building.
Upgrades to the ramp don’t come cheap. The addition of glassed stairwells, large corner retail space, lighting, and terra cotta screen total $2.2 million.
“We take our role in the community very seriously,” says Uniland Senior Marketing Manager Jill Pawlik. “Early on in the design process, we heard the concerns of stakeholders such as neighbors and municipal officials regarding the aesthetics of the parking ramp. Continuing the decorative screening elements from the hotel facade through the parking ramp on Chippewa and Elmwood where there is the most exposure to passersby was the right thing to do for the neighborhood.”
According to one document, original plans called for no retail fronting the garage, but two retail spaces were later added. In the final design, there will be a single large retail space on the corner of Elmwood and Chippewa, providing a prominent spot for a store or restaurant to cap the end of the Chippewa Strip.
The corner retail space is still available. It contains 5,000 sq ft, floor to ceiling windows, direct access to indoor parking, and a built-in customer base with occupants and visitors of 250 Delaware and the multiple other hotels and offices in the immediate area.
Commercial tenants in the main building will include a restaurant named Patina and a Key Bank branch. Osteopathic Wellness Medicine of Western New York is expected to occupy an additional space.
Anchor Delaware North is expected to move into their offices in early November, as is Key Bank. The other tenants move-in Spring 2016 and Delaware North says that its self-operated Westin Hotel and Patina restaurant will open in early summer of 2016.
Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects and local firm HHL Architects designed the 12-story, $110 million mixed-use building that anchors the Delaware and Chippewa street corner.