The team planning an Old First Ward residential project on the Buffalo River is also working on a riverfront project in Tonawanda. Carubba & Company, J.B. Earl Company and Elev8 Architecture are proposing a multi-phase development in Tonawanda along Ellicott Creek, south of the Tonawanda Canal. The first phase, The ELLI, with 128 residential units and 8,000 sq.ft. of commercial space, is planned for a former industrial site at 20-40 Fillmore Avenue.
“It’s an existing light manufacturing site that is partially abandoned in the city’s downtown core,” says Michael Conroe, architect and founder of Elev8 Architecture. “We are transforming it into a mixed-use site that will bring the vibrancy and activity that was once only reserved for North Tonawanda on the other side of the canal to the City of Tonawanda.
A second phase includes a building on the south side of Ellicott Creek along Young Street north of an existing Walgreens. The new development is tied to public amenities recently completed or being constructed including transformation of a section of Young Street into a pedestrian mall and plaza and the Gateway Harbor and Overlook.
“We are working closely with the City and have plans to improve the shoreline of Ellicott Creek from the yacht club to the canal as part of a public-private partnership,” says Conroe. “The vision is to provide a river walk similar to San Antonio where people stroll along the water’s edge. Currently to experience Ellicott Creek you need to be a boater.”
According to Conroe, the size and unit count in the phase two building yhaset to be determined.
“We have a lot of work to do to determine what style of housing will be the most desirable in this location,” says Conroe. “Once complete, this project will catapult the city forward and create an immediate downtown core similar to what north Tonawanda has done. We truly believe the success of one will feed off of the other.”
The development team recently obtained approval for the RIV, an 85-unit, four building project at the corner of South and Hamburg streets in Buffalo’s Old First Ward.