Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation unveiled plans for a $40 million mixed-use development project for the area of Bidwell Parkway, Elmwood and Potomac Avenues. The two-building project has been introduced under the name Arbor + Reverie and will contain retail space, condos, apartments, and both structured and underground parking.
“We are extremely excited to introduce our proposed plans for Arbor + Reverie to both Elmwood Village residents and the entire WNY community,” said Amber Holycross, senior development manager, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation. “Throughout our planning process, we’ve made it a point to undertake an extensive, year-long community outreach effort, in order to solicit the type of constructive feedback that has really helped to shape, inform, and produce an appropriate and inspiring overall design.”
Ciminelli completed the purchase of eleven property parcels from long-time owners Don and Lori Leone in September. Most recently, the company began restoration work on 587 Potomac Avenue, which will be incorporated into Arbor + Reverie. “The project is intended to fit into the context of the surrounding streetscape and urban setting by reflecting the vitality and street energy of Elmwood Avenue combined with a beautiful Bidwell Parkway setting,” said Holycross. “Once it’s built, we are confident it will feel like it’s always been there.”
The proposed Arbor + Reverie development will consist of two buildings, linked together by pedestrian walkways.
Arbor will be located along Bidwell Parkway (rendering above), or the southern portion of the site. Plans for Arbor include rehabilitating 587 Potomac Avenue, locally known as the former Sunday Skateshop, and incorporating the facades of the current 1920 storefront additions. The Arbor building will include 6,000 sq.ft. of retail space, 33 apartments/for-sale condominiums priced in the $400,000 to $600,000 range, and 13 parking spaces.
Reverie will be located along Elmwood Avenue on the northern block of the site (rendering below). The building will include 6,000 sq.ft. of retail space, 53 apartment units, and 137 parking spaces. Also along this block is the dilapidated structure at 584 Potomac Avenue, purchased by Ciminelli, will be taken down and replaced with a public garden and playground area. 588 Potomac will be preserved with minor improvements, and 721 Ashland Avenue will be demolished and rebuilt for repurposing as one-bedroom apartment units.
The residential spaces at Arbor + Reverie will be a mix of rental units and for-sale condominiums. Unit sizes will range from 668 to 1,678 sq.ft. An anticipated 97 residential units and eight retail suites will be included in the project. Approximately 150 parking spaces will be built into Arbor + Reverie, with one third of those spaces being allocated for non-resident parking.
“Having vested a great deal of time over the last year meeting with Elmwood Village residents and stakeholders, we’ve definitely been able to better understand the pulse of the neighborhood,” remarked Holycross. “Our team has made it a priority to hear from the Elmwood Village Association, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the Delaware South Block Club, and other local homeowners, groups and individuals. And we’ve spent time looking into the history of the Village to help inform our plans for the project. We are working with the Buffalo Arts Commission to explore the possibility of bringing back a notable Elmwood Avenue art piece – the tango dancers.”
Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2017 and will take place in two phases. In phase one, work will begin on the Elmwood block, at the Reverie site, including the parcels located on the northern Potomac parcel and on Ashland. Phase one will take approximately 18- 24 months to complete. Phase two will include all work on the southern block, at the Arbor site, and is expected to be complete in 2020.
Ciminelli has been working closely with HHL Architects to design the buildings in a way that respects the originality and charm of the Elmwood Village, while bringing new life experiences to the project. The buildings will be comprised of traditional materials, such as brick and stone, in order to ensure that the structures evoke the context of the neighborhood.