Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation has taken a significant step towards starting construction of downtown’s largest residential project to date by purchasing a City-owned parking lot at 201 Ellicott Street. Ciminelli paid $2.325 million for the 2.5-acre site yesterday. The transaction was completed a week after a judge rejected a request for an injunction to block the sale filed by Rocco Termini.
The project includes 201 affordable apartments in a building with five floors along Ellicott Street and seven floors along Oak Street and a 20,000 sq.ft. Braymiller’s Market at the corner of Ellicott and Clinton streets.
While Ciminelli now owns the site, Termini’s lawsuit is proceeding. He argues the loss of the 375 parking spaces will harm his The Lafayette project west of the site. The judge in the case determined that if Termini’s case is successful, damages could be set at a later date and compensated monetarily. There’s not a shortage of parking downtown. A Buffalo Place Access & Infrastructure Committee study (January 2019) showed downtown off-street facilities were 63 percent occupied during the peak period, with 22,034 of 34,734 available spaces occupied, leaving a surplus of 7,490 spaces downtown wide. Parking near The Lafayette could become tighter soon. The City-owned Mohawk Ramp at Washington and Mohawk streets requires costly repairs and is likely going to be replaced. Sources say an RFP seeking a private-sector partner to build a larger replacement ramp nearby is in the works.
Ciminelli Real Estate says it wants to begin construction of 201 Ellicott in the fall and finish in 2021.