Downtown will be gaining a fresh food market in coming weeks. It is not a grocery store. Braymiller Market has not set an opening date but owner Stuart Green says it will be “during strawberry season.” Watch for a late June/early-July opening.
Braymiller will occupy a 20,000 square foot stand-alone building at Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation’s mixed-use project on Ellicott Street south of the central library. The building will be roughly evenly split between the retail space fronting Ellicott Street and the wholesale operation in the rear along Oak Street. The project also includes 201 affordable apartments at the southern end of the 2.5 acre former parking lot adjacent to the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center.
“The market’s focus is on fresh and prepared food including meats, seafood, milk and dairy,” says Denise M. Juron-Borgese, Ciminelli’s Vice President of Development and Planning. “Braymiller is focused on locally-sourced products, similar to their Hamburg location but twice the size. They also specialize in gift baskets and catering.”
“That’s not to say Stuart won’t listen to his customers and include non-food products to cater to the downtown residential population if that is what is requested,” adds Juron-Borgese. “He has always had a customer-centric philosophy, and really listens to what they have to say. He wants their feedback.”
The market at 225 Ellicott will include a timber-framed dining loft in the signature two-story space at the corner of Clinton and Ellicott streets. An active street presence is planned with seating areas, roll-up doors, and outdoor sales areas and displays. A walk-up ice cream window is planned as well.
“They are going for a true market vibe,” says Juron-Borgese.
In the back of the house a commercial kitchen is planned with support space, employee break room, and the warehouse area in the back focused on wholesale/restaurant supply and cash-and-carry sales. Four truck docks are accessed from Oak Street and there are 29 dedicated parking spaces for market customers internal to the site.
Braymiller is expected to hire 65 full and part-time employees, working with Buffalo Employment and Training Center to fill the positions.
A landscaped “front yard” will be installed between the residential building at 201 Ellicott and Braymiller. The apartment building is five stories along Ellicott Street and seven stories along Oak Street.
There are 131 one bedroom, one bath units with 623 sq.ft. of space and 70 two bedroom, one-bath units with 850 sq.ft. Rents will be based on 50 to 80 percent of area median income with rents in the $660 to $1,260 range.
“There is an incredible need for affordable units,” says Juron-Borgese. “We already have a long interest list and we expect to begin leasing in late summer for late-fall occupancy.”
Ciminelli is working with Belmont Housing on leasing and management of the property.
The building will have lobbies on both Ellicott and Oak Street. It will be all-residential, with no retail space along Ellicott Street but has been designed with active uses along the street including a fitness center, community room, common laundry, and the lobby and lounge. Each floor will have laundry rooms as well. Between the new building and the Transportation Center, a resident “backyard” is planned with picnic tables, benches and grills.
It will also be one of the few downtown residential projects with no on-site resident parking.
“The property is ideally located just two short blocks from light rail and bus service at its front door,” says Juron-Borgese.
The sidewalk along Ellicott Street is double-wide and a sheltered bus stop has been built into the building that will have real time bus information (pop out, above). A bicycle storage area is planned for the first floor and a dedicated area for ride share pick-up is planned on Ellicott Steet.
The project is a member of Go Buffalo Niagara, a Transportation Management Association with benefits for residents and market staff including access to Go Bike and Ready Bike, services of a mobility planner, rideshare matching services, and a guaranteed ride home for carpoolers with a free ride home in case of emergencies.
Work on the project did not stop work due to Covid since construction of affordable housing was deemed essential work.
“There was some delay due to supply shortages,” says Juron-Borgese. “We had planned to open the residential portion this summer but that has been pushed off until fall. Our team including ARC Building Partners and Cannon Design made it happen.”