A hard-to-develop downtown parcel would be the home of a $42 million new building if Doug Jemal and Paul Millstein of Douglas Development have their way. The developers are proposing a nine-story residential building on a surface parking lot west of the Seneca One complex. Dubbed 61 Terrace, the property is bound by Exchange Street, Seneca Street, Pearl Street and Franklin Street.
The City-owned parcel is constrained by the Skyway-to-I190 and Seneca Street off ramps but the building will include five levels of parking for 500 cars at the off-ramp level as designed by Antunovich Associates. Parking would be topped by four levels of apartments with nearly 200 units. The residential levels of the structure will sit above the Skyway interchange and I190, offering unobstructed views from all sides. Triple pane glass is proposed to eliminate vehicle noise inside the residential units.
The apartments will include a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments for downtown’s growing technology workforce. Douglas Development is also in discussions with the City about expanding his commitment to affordable housing in downtown.
The enclosed parking will serve residents of the building, as well as those working at or visiting Seneca One, while also incorporating public parking to more than make up for spaces currently located on the surface lot.
“We have an opportunity for an asphalt, surface lot to become the site of the next key piece of our City’s rapidly-evolving downtown. This is the kind of development I envisioned when I announced the Race for Place initiative in my 2020 State of the City Address,” Mayor Brown said at a noon press conference. “I will be asking the Buffalo Common Council and the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency to name Douglas Jemal and his firm the designated developer for 61 Terrace.”
“When I looked down at that lot from Seneca One, I saw the perfect site to continue building this great new neighborhood we’re creating,” said Douglas Jemal, Douglas Development’s CEO and founder. “It’s also a really cool site to build something on, with the highways, like raceways, wrapping around it.”
Jemal is expected to purchase the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) parcel for approximately $1 million. BURA anticipates naming Jemal designated developer of the parcel on Thursday.
“We want to create something that’s cool and edgy, but it also needs to have a density for the parking and the residential floors to grow this neighborhood,” Jemal said. Work on the project could start within twelve months.
This would be the fourth downtown project for Jemal and his first new building. Besides the Seneca One redevelopment, he is converting the former Police headquarters at Franklin and Church streets to residential and is also finalizing plans to finish the redevelopment of the Statler after purchasing it from the estate of Mark Croce earlier this year.
When the three southern end of downtown projects are complete, Jemal will have created a significant cluster of 445 residential units. The 115 apartments at Seneca One are now leasing and the Police Station Apartment project will include 130 units.
“We are very excited to continue moving forward in our vision of a collaborative effort working with the City, said Millstein, Vice President and Head of Development for Douglas Development. “We are here to do more.”