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There is Hope for the Cooperage

Ellicott Development has set its sights on the forlorn Cooperage Building. The development company has the Chicago Street property under contract according to Buffalo Business First.  Apartments and commercial space are planned and Ellicott officials say they will be “respectful of the building” and work could start late this year.

The E.B. Holmes Machinery Company Building at 55-59 Chicago Street sits in shambles despite new development taking root on nearby properties. The Cooperage complex seemed to have a bright future in 2005 when the site was purchased by Newark Niagara LLC, headed by preservation architect Clinton Brown, for $30,000. In 2008, Brown announced a reuse strategy for the property and went to work on development plans.

The E. & B. Holmes Machinery Company Building is a roughly rectangular building composed of three primary sections of four-, three- and two-stories, which encircle a central courtyard. These segments of the building reflect the various additions and changes which the building underwent throughout its 150 year history. Holmes was known for its woodworking machines, including those involved in barrel making.

Clinton Brown’s $6.6 million Cooperage plan called for 22 market-rate, live-work lofts as well as two or three commercial retail spaces. The complex has been vacant since 2001 and time and weather had taken a toll on the property.

The oldest portion of the building, known as the Mill Building (c.1870s), is a four-story rectangular brick structure. Two, three and four-story additions were added on over time. The Mill Building suffered a partial collapse to the eastern wall of the structure in 2007. This eastern wall now lies in ruin, along with portions of the northwestern corner and the fourth floor.

Ellicott Development recently opened 21 residences and restaurant space at 301 Ohio Street with plans for additional buildings stretching along the Buffalo River. It also has plans to construct an office building on property to the south of the Cooperage and is planning new residential-anchored buildings at Chicago Street and South Park Avenue and at the site of the former Harbor Inn at Miami and Ohio streets.

Get Connected: Ellicott Development, 716.854.0060

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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