Author: WCPerspective

WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

For a COVID-impacted year, downtown development showed little sign of slowing down. One developer who is speeding up is Douglas Jemal. Jemal was busy last year signing leases for office space and apartments in Seneca One, preparing plans for conversion of the former police headquarters to residences, purchasing the Statler and starting façade work on the property, unveiling plans for a new residential building next to the tower, and finalizing the purchase of the shuttered Hyatt hotel. 2020 was another good year for downtown development. Fifteen projects were completed, fifteen are currently under construction, and nineteen were announced. That compares…

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In a story about its push into the Rochester market, Marrano Homes hints about future plans in Buffalo. Marrano CEO Patrick Marrano says the builder is looking at additional opportunities in the city, including townhouses and even patio homes. Marrano says development on the East Side is also a possibility. From The Buffalo News: Marrano is eagerly looking ahead to finding another city project to pursue – possibly on the East Side, with townhomes. He said he and his executives have been talking to Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and his staff, who are “eager to see something.” “There’s land…

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A spectacular model unit has been completed at The West End development in Waterfront Village. The three-story residence at 272 Lakefront Boulevard features high-end finishes including an elevator. It is open for viewing on Saturdays from 1 until 3 pm and by appointment. Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation’s The West End will include 20 units on a 2.4-acre parcel along Lakefront Boulevard between the Portside and Marina Park communities. The largest building in the project is nearing completion. “There are six units still available in our eight-unit building that is currently constructed,” says Hunt Real Estate’s Deacon Tasker who is overseeing…

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One of the more dynamic projects set to open in Buffalo during the year ahead is the D’Youville College Health Professions Hub. Located in the heart of Buffalo’s West Side community, the project will improve community access to healthcare services, introduce educational opportunities focused on breaking cycles of chronic illness, and connect area students with in-demand jobs. Billed as a “first-of-its-kind” health center, the Hub offers innovative learning spaces, a workforce center, extensive virtual training resources, a demonstration kitchen, neighborhood cafe, public art, a pharmacy, rehabilitation and wellness center, and a clinic offering primary care. Upon opening in early 2021,…

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The Benjamin Franklin Hotel was the last large hotel constructed in Philadelphia before the Great Depression. Names after founding father and local resident Benjamin Franklin, the 18-story, 1,200-room opened on January 14, 1925. It was developed by Niagara Falls businessman Frank A. Dudley and designed by Horace Trumbauer. The hotel closed in 1980 and the vacant building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In 1986, the building was converted into 412 residential units and and renamed Benjamin Franklin House and known by locals as “The Ben.” During the renovation, portions of the building including the…

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It has been a transformative year for CannonDesign in Buffalo. The global design firm, founded in the Buffalo-area more than a century ago, left its Grand Island office of 30+ years last September, moved its 190 employees into temporary space downtown, and began designing a permanent new workplace at 50 Fountain Plaza. Amidst all that, the company also named Bob Donahue its new regional Office Leader, continued to drive key dialogue through its Buffalo Urban Futures Forum, and is leading important projects across the city. Next month, company employees will begin occupancy of its new 35,000 sq.ft. permanent space in…

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Construction has started on Mount Aaron Village, a new affordable housing development on Genesee Street. The complex will have 59 units, including 18 apartments that will be dedicated specifically for people who need supportive services to live independently. Mt. Aaron Missionary Baptist Church is building the development on 19 vacant parcels located along Genesee, Adams, and Grey streets. “We have made an unprecedented commitment to address housing and homelessness across our state, including creating thousands of new affordable and supportive housing units for New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we progress through the phased reopening of New York’s economy, we…

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The downtown protest turned ugly late last night with a string of broken windows, damaged cars, and other damage stretching along Niagara Street, Elmwood, Grant, and throughout downtown. Douglas Jemal has owned the Statler for two days and now needs to add ‘window repair’ to the list of immediate work that is needed. One punk even tried to burn City Hall down but luckily only caused $1,000 damage to the building. There is not much to feel good about this morning but here is a little. Roger Trettel was out early to assess any damage to his downtown properties located…

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Douglas Jemal has a signed contract to purchase Statler City from the late Mark Croce’s Statler City LLC.  The two became friends soon after Jemal entered the Buffalo development scene, frequently dining at Croce’s Chop House restaurant. Mark Croce and Michael Capriotto and perished in a January helicopter crash. The sale agreement was signed on Wednesday. Mayor Byron Brown, joining Jessica Croce in making the announcement this morning in Niagara Square, called it a “very special day.” The Mayor also formalized plans to rename W. Genesee Street in front of the Statler “Croce Way.” Jemal did not offer specifics on…

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Home builder and contractor Buffalo Bungalow is following up on its project at 474 Seneca Street with a two-family residential structure not too far away on S. Division Street.  The new building will occupy a pair of vacant lots at 785-787 South Division Street (below, the vacant structure was demolished in 2015).  The site is at the northern edge of the Larkin District. Plans call for a 997 square foot two bedroom, one-bath apartment on the first floor and the owner’s residence on the second level will encompass 904 sq.ft. of living space with also two bedrooms and one bathroom. …

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