The future owners of the JP Bullfeathers restaurant and three properties north of it are seeking variances to replace 1020-1028 Elmwood with a mixed-use building. Plans call for a four-story building with 3,730 square feet of retail space, covered parking for 26 cars, and up to 27 upper floor apartments. The fourth floor would have a setback.
Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation is in the process of selling the properties to Whitesand Family LP. Whitesand Family LP is said to be in discussions with a restaurant to occupy the former Bullfeathers location.
The four-story building would replace three existing predominantly residential buildings on the site. Abstract Architecture is working on the plan. The proposal needs variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the project.
To date, the development team has been taking all of the neighborhood’s suggestions to heart, and has implemented the following changes accordingly:
- The depth of the retail space was cut from 70’ to 40’ to add more garage parking, cutting retail spaces from 4 to 3.
- To take 4-parking spaces from the JP Bullfeathers lot and designate them to the new retail space.
- To move the garage driveway back from the curb to 30’. This gave a better appearance of the building from the front elevation and provided separation from 1030 Elmwood.
- To have a 6’ setback on the front elevation of the 4th floor in order to reduce the size perception.
- To have a 15’ setback at the rear elevation rather than 9’. Also to setback the 3rd and 4th story in the rear elevation to give a stepped appearance and a better profile to the Ashland residents.
There are still a few concerned neighbors who want the fourth floor eliminated, which would be a deal breaker for the project according to the development team. All of the rest of the concessions have been addressed, but once floors start to be eliminated, the project is no longer feasible. Other neighbors have called for 100% residential with no commercial and no parking, which seems to be completely ludicrous on a commercial street such as Elmwood.
From the application:
The applicant is proposing a modern 42,000+/- sf (12,954 sf footprint) mixed-use retail/residential building located at 1020, 1024 and 1028 Elmwood A venue. The applicant seeks to merge the three lots, all zoned N-2C (Mixed-Use Center), resulting in a total combined lot area of 14,400 sf. Because the City of Buffalo Unified Development Ordinance (“UDO”) Elmwood Village Standards prohibit the combination of more than two lots for the purposes of new construction, applicant is seeking a variance (see, UDO Section 3.2.1 (J)(3)). Additionally, applicant seeks variances from Section 3.2.5 (E)(A), which restricts the building height to 44 feet and three (3) stories. Applicant is proposing a maximum height of 50 feet (with a step-back design) and four stories to maximize the residential and retail space and provide covered parking for building tenants.
Whitesand has begun meeting with neighbors on the proposal. The Zoning Board will review the project at its meeting next Wednesday. Don White from Whitesand Family LP says that he is looking for additional support from the community, due to the vocal minority that continues to push back on the project. Community members can send emails in support of the project to: email@example.com.