Construction Watch: One Canalside

The Donovan Building is getting its new skin.  Construction crews took the former state office building down to its structural steel and have added ‘bump outs’ on the formerly flush square building.  Framework for a new glass and brick façade is going up. Benderson Development is spearheading the One Canalside project which will include a mix of retail, office and hotel uses.
Phillips Lytle LLP will be the building’s anchor tenant, occupying 85,000 square feet of space on the top four floors of the 160,000-square-foot structure.


OneCanalside4b.pngimage009.jpgimage006c.jpg

A 96-room Courtyard by Marriott will occupy the second thru fourth floors. The ground floor is expected to contain retail and/or restaurant uses. A two-story, 130-vehicle parking garage is planned. 
The project is slated for completion in December 2013, with Phillips Lytle and other tenants taking up residence in 2014.
Clark Construction Group, LLC, the nation’s largest privately-held construction company, is general contractor. Orchard Park-based Fontanese Folts Aubrecht Ernst Architects, P.C. is project architect.
image012.jpg
image013.jpg
DonovanBirdseye2.png

About the author  ⁄ Drew

185 comments
nyc
nyc

Hamp is generally correct...

however i think there were ways to make this work better from a design standpoint even without pushing the first floor or two too the the sidewalk. The design just falls short - the building design for not recognizing the intent of the canalside district to emphasize commercial activity on the ground floor (building design emphasizes the complete opposite - yet includes first floor retail/ rest.) and plaza design for not making a decent connection between the public sidewalk and the commercial space on the first floor through physical design and programming.

nyc
nyc

Hamp is generally correct...

however i think there were ways to make this work better from a design standpoint even without pushing the first floor or two too the the sidewalk. The design just falls short - the building design for not recognizing the intent of the canalside district to emphasize commercial activity on the ground floor (building design emphasizes the complete opposite - yet includes first floor retail/ rest.) and plaza design for not making a decent connection between the public sidewalk and the commercial space on the first floor through physical design and programming.

MikeN
MikeN

Speaking of in the know, does anyone know what the plan for Main Street and cars is in this area? If cars are separate as they are by FNFG and under HSBC and past the Ellicott building and not sharing the tracks, that 20 ft may not really be 20'ft after the fact.

MikeN
MikeN

Speaking of in the know, does anyone know what the plan for Main Street and cars is in this area? If cars are separate as they are by FNFG and under HSBC and past the Ellicott building and not sharing the tracks, that 20 ft may not really be 20'ft after the fact.

MikeN
MikeN

Agreed on the in the know comment; This is something we need to change.

MikeN
MikeN

Agreed on the in the know comment; This is something we need to change.

300miles
300miles

I agree with Hamp about the ground floor. It should have been bumped out to the sidewalk, instead of having the plaza. But in the big picuture of things it's not a huge deal. It's a lost opportunity (as usual) but if they program activities on it, it will be ok.

The Avant should have been built out to the Delaware sidewalk as well...

Up and coming
Up and coming

Yeah, we'll apparently no one else is on your side.

Up and coming
Up and coming

Yeah, we'll apparently no one else is on your side.

Up and coming
Up and coming

I think that has more to do with the demographic of people attending the shows. A lot of people are older and hail from the suburbs so they're not familiar with where places are located in the city. So, after the shows they head home, or to Friendly's for a late night ice cream. Buffalo is still one of those cities that you need to be "in the know" to really know what places are hot on certain night and what places arent. Also, I believe there's still a stereotype that the city is dirty and filled with blacks that will rob you. Exampl: I have free Dipson movie theater passes. I wanted to see Lawless and it was only playing at the Market Arcade. So, I called my grandpa and asked if he wanted to go. His response was, "i try to stay out of black neighborhoods." My response was, well its not black down there. His response, "well whats the makeup of people?". I said, "well it's 1:30 on a Saturday so probably me you and a bunch of old people with nothing better to do.". He wasn't having it needless to say we didnt go. But this story is a perfect example of the stereotype's we still fight with on a local and national scale.

Up and coming
Up and coming

I think that has more to do with the demographic of people attending the shows. A lot of people are older and hail from the suburbs so they're not familiar with where places are located in the city. So, after the shows they head home, or to Friendly's for a late night ice cream. Buffalo is still one of those cities that you need to be "in the know" to really know what places are hot on certain night and what places arent. Also, I believe there's still a stereotype that the city is dirty and filled with blacks that will rob you. Exampl: I have free Dipson movie theater passes. I wanted to see Lawless and it was only playing at the Market Arcade. So, I called my grandpa and asked if he wanted to go. His response was, "i try to stay out of black neighborhoods." My response was, well its not black down there. His response, "well whats the makeup of people?". I said, "well it's 1:30 on a Saturday so probably me you and a bunch of old people with nothing better to do.". He wasn't having it needless to say we didnt go. But this story is a perfect example of the stereotype's we still fight with on a local and national scale.

300miles
300miles

That's not entirely true. Most restaurants that are close to shea's are busy before and after big shows. And they aren't necessarily even known to many theater goers that don't venture around the block. If more restaurants were open right on Main St people unfamiliar with the city would see them and support them.

downtown resident
downtown resident

All this talk of urban planning, downtown revitalization, pedestrian malls that work and those that don't, building to the street, no plaza, yes plaza, sheesh!!!

What noboby on here gets is that any downtown area, mall, street, plaza is not utilized by Buffalonians and their suburban counterparts. On any night, even a nice one, check out what happens when Shea's lets out. Thousands of people leave the theatre at one time....they cross Main, get in their car and head home, whether that home is in the suburbs or in the City. I usually walk up Main a little and can count on one hand the amount of people that are walking. Yes, I know....why would they walk when there's nothing there to walk for. Well, now there's the egg and chicken scenario. But any event in our city lacks the ability to keep people downtown to patronize our city.

In NYC, those that don't live in the city and catch a show usually have dinner, the show and then dessert or another drink after....hence the saturation of people on the street. Our residents don't do that. Until they do, any street will be a dead zone whether the building is built to the street or not.

downtown resident
downtown resident

All this talk of urban planning, downtown revitalization, pedestrian malls that work and those that don't, building to the street, no plaza, yes plaza, sheesh!!!

What noboby on here gets is that any downtown area, mall, street, plaza is not utilized by Buffalonians and their suburban counterparts. On any night, even a nice one, check out what happens when Shea's lets out. Thousands of people leave the theatre at one time....they cross Main, get in their car and head home, whether that home is in the suburbs or in the City. I usually walk up Main a little and can count on one hand the amount of people that are walking. Yes, I know....why would they walk when there's nothing there to walk for. Well, now there's the egg and chicken scenario. But any event in our city lacks the ability to keep people downtown to patronize our city.

In NYC, those that don't live in the city and catch a show usually have dinner, the show and then dessert or another drink after....hence the saturation of people on the street. Our residents don't do that. Until they do, any street will be a dead zone whether the building is built to the street or not.

Buffaboy
Buffaboy

As usual, right on Hamp.

Buffaboy
Buffaboy

As usual, right on Hamp.

Slu
Slu

Almost 20 feet? What are they going to do with all that space? I mean that is almost 7 or 8 steps from the sidewalk! The humanity!

Slu
Slu

Almost 20 feet? What are they going to do with all that space? I mean that is almost 7 or 8 steps from the sidewalk! The humanity!

brownteeth
brownteeth

Action INSIDE makes for a vibrant area? With all the people inside their first floor offices on Main street you consider that vibrant? Look, I won't argue that they may have too much space outside now, but given the momentum and success of grass roots programming and the buzz in this area I don't think it's going to go the same way the rest of Main street has.

Plus many of the plazas further up Main consist of banks with security issues and only office workers. Given this prime location and the hotel/restaurant component I don't think the expanse of space outside will be nearly as dead and useless as you think.

hamp
hamp

You're missing the point. If you build to the sidewalk, there is no "space" to have to fill in.

The building with its windows lighted up, action inside etc, is enough.

hamp
hamp

You're missing the point. If you build to the sidewalk, there is no "space" to have to fill in.

The building with its windows lighted up, action inside etc, is enough.

brownteeth
brownteeth

I agree it is about the programming. In fact any use of space is only as good as what you make of it. I can't say for certain this won't end up being dead space but what I do know is that over the last few years people are becoming more comfortable making use out of "dead space" more than ever. I think it will be a combination of programming and continually changing peoples attitudes towards attending events or activities in these spaces.

Larkinville is a great example of people going to a plaza to enjoy the activities and nothing more. There is no retail, no residences, no hotel and only one restaurant, nothing else. How can the Donovan space being located so close to the water/boardwalk, Naval Museum, FN Arena, The new Sabres complex, cobblestone, etc., be any worse than what Larkinville manages to do in the middle of nowhere?

By the same token just because a building is built to the curb does not guarantee it will be more vibrant. If there were retail with no outside space wouldn't most people be indoors? Would that give the impression of less people? It's too early to tell how this will play out.

brownteeth
brownteeth

I agree it is about the programming. In fact any use of space is only as good as what you make of it. I can't say for certain this won't end up being dead space but what I do know is that over the last few years people are becoming more comfortable making use out of "dead space" more than ever. I think it will be a combination of programming and continually changing peoples attitudes towards attending events or activities in these spaces.

Larkinville is a great example of people going to a plaza to enjoy the activities and nothing more. There is no retail, no residences, no hotel and only one restaurant, nothing else. How can the Donovan space being located so close to the water/boardwalk, Naval Museum, FN Arena, The new Sabres complex, cobblestone, etc., be any worse than what Larkinville manages to do in the middle of nowhere?

By the same token just because a building is built to the curb does not guarantee it will be more vibrant. If there were retail with no outside space wouldn't most people be indoors? Would that give the impression of less people? It's too early to tell how this will play out.

brownteeth
brownteeth

You're putting way too much emphasis on a conceptual design and not factoring in anything that will be built across Main street that might play off this building or vice versa. I can't say your wrong about this space, it will all come down to how this space is utilized. Even if the building were built to the curb there's no guarantee it would attract more people. It might only give the illusion that there's more people. The truth is it will be about a decade until everything is built and we can assess how successful any of this will be.

brownteeth
brownteeth

You're putting way too much emphasis on a conceptual design and not factoring in anything that will be built across Main street that might play off this building or vice versa. I can't say your wrong about this space, it will all come down to how this space is utilized. Even if the building were built to the curb there's no guarantee it would attract more people. It might only give the illusion that there's more people. The truth is it will be about a decade until everything is built and we can assess how successful any of this will be.

hamp
hamp

I don't agree.

People shop where the stores and bargains are. And where they can park easily and cheaply.

Canadians flock to the Galleria. And people from all over WNY do too. Even though they live far from the mall.

Providence, RI, a city similar to Buffalo has a thriving mall downtown that attracts shoppers from a wide area.

hamp
hamp

I walk by it too.

The Main St side is almost 20 feet from the sidewalk.

Look at the rendering. The building has no interface with the pedestrian. No windows to peer into, no retail or other commercial to activate the street. That's the problem, and that's one of the main reasons downtown buildings should be built to the sidewalk.

The space in front of this building will be a dead zone most of the time.

hamp
hamp

b-

You're making my point. Canalside has design guidelines to help make it a 24/7 place. The downtown plazas you mention are busy for only a few hours each day, and are deserted on weekends and during the winter.

One Canalside did not follow the design guidelines, and that will detract from its contribution to making Canalside a success.

hamp
hamp

b-

You're making my point. Canalside has design guidelines to help make it a 24/7 place. The downtown plazas you mention are busy for only a few hours each day, and are deserted on weekends and during the winter.

One Canalside did not follow the design guidelines, and that will detract from its contribution to making Canalside a success.

nyc
nyc

Got it.. No retail downtown until 50,000 people move in. Sounds like a plan. Make sure we pull that component out of harbor center - not sure what new era is thinking.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

IINM it means the extra metal framework shown in image 4 of 7, which supports the design element projecting from the wall.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

IINM it means the extra metal framework shown in image 4 of 7, which supports the design element projecting from the wall.

Slu
Slu

They are small additions. Not significant at all.

And I just walked by here twice today (like I do 6 times a week) and the Main Street side is very close to the sidewalk. On this side of the building, "build to the curb" is a non-issue.

Slu
Slu

They are small additions. Not significant at all.

And I just walked by here twice today (like I do 6 times a week) and the Main Street side is very close to the sidewalk. On this side of the building, "build to the curb" is a non-issue.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

there will be many things to do around Canalside, but turning it into a 'retail district' would be dooming it to failure. It would never work. Western New Yorkers aren't going to go shopping in retail storefronts on the waterfront (especially in winter) when they live nowhere near downtown.

People shop close to home, not close to work. When they get out of the office they're going home, not shopping. To sustain any nascent retail district downtown, we have to increase the number of downtown residents by orders of magnitude (tenfold, or a hundredfold, not doubling or tripling). Slapping retail spaces up all around the canals won't change that fact. Empty stores would not enhance the appeal of Canalside.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

there will be many things to do around Canalside, but turning it into a 'retail district' would be dooming it to failure. It would never work. Western New Yorkers aren't going to go shopping in retail storefronts on the waterfront (especially in winter) when they live nowhere near downtown.

People shop close to home, not close to work. When they get out of the office they're going home, not shopping. To sustain any nascent retail district downtown, we have to increase the number of downtown residents by orders of magnitude (tenfold, or a hundredfold, not doubling or tripling). Slapping retail spaces up all around the canals won't change that fact. Empty stores would not enhance the appeal of Canalside.

nyc
nyc

The design failure is less about the plaza and more about the lack of emphasis on retail and the anticipated integration with a vibrant retail district. They could have built this anywhere downtown. Exept of course it's a retrofit...but it's a retrofit that ignores the context.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

I'm unclear about the 'bumpouts'. Are these just small additions here and there? or have these floors been significantly added to? It looks to me, from one of the photos, that perhaps a significant increase in the floorspace on each level has been added. Maybe I'm misinterpreting . . .

Have to go down and see what's new in person.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

I'm unclear about the 'bumpouts'. Are these just small additions here and there? or have these floors been significantly added to? It looks to me, from one of the photos, that perhaps a significant increase in the floorspace on each level has been added. Maybe I'm misinterpreting . . .

Have to go down and see what's new in person.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

I strongly disagree with Hamp's assertion that M&T plaza, Key Plaza, the former Goldome plaza are 'wastelands'. People use those plazas. There are more people congregating at M&T during lunchtime concerts than anywhere else for blocks (although many use that nice tree lined street next to St. Paul's, which, thankfully, is also set back from the street enough to create public space).

And the Key Tower Plaza is another jam packed gathering place. Do you go downtown in the summer at lunchtime?

Those plazas are way more populated by office workers enjoying the outdoors than all those vacant sidewalks lining vacant storefronts all along Main, and any other buildings which once upon a time supported retail, along Chippewa, along Delaware, along Washington and Pearl and Franklin and Genesee. There are a ton of formerly thriving retail streets downtown, streets where traffic still drives relentlessly by, but which are not thriving for retail. And that will be the case for most of those streets, even after downtown residential builds up more critical mass.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

I strongly disagree with Hamp's assertion that M&T plaza, Key Plaza, the former Goldome plaza are 'wastelands'. People use those plazas. There are more people congregating at M&T during lunchtime concerts than anywhere else for blocks (although many use that nice tree lined street next to St. Paul's, which, thankfully, is also set back from the street enough to create public space).

And the Key Tower Plaza is another jam packed gathering place. Do you go downtown in the summer at lunchtime?

Those plazas are way more populated by office workers enjoying the outdoors than all those vacant sidewalks lining vacant storefronts all along Main, and any other buildings which once upon a time supported retail, along Chippewa, along Delaware, along Washington and Pearl and Franklin and Genesee. There are a ton of formerly thriving retail streets downtown, streets where traffic still drives relentlessly by, but which are not thriving for retail. And that will be the case for most of those streets, even after downtown residential builds up more critical mass.

The Boss
The Boss

the pedestrian only street in Ithaca is a wind swept wasteland

The Boss
The Boss

the pedestrian only street in Ithaca is a wind swept wasteland

Rand503
Rand503

I'm on Hamp's side. That's one.

Rand503
Rand503

I'm on Hamp's side. That's one.

Rand503
Rand503

I'm on Hamp's side. That's one.

Rand503
Rand503

I'm on Hamp's side. That's one.

Rand503
Rand503

Delaware Ave used to be quite pedestrian friendly, back before the 1950s or so. It's when they started tearing down good buildings and closing up shops that foot traffic disappeared.

Rand503
Rand503

Delaware Ave used to be quite pedestrian friendly, back before the 1950s or so. It's when they started tearing down good buildings and closing up shops that foot traffic disappeared.

Up and coming
Up and coming

I used to work right across the street at The Atrium and we we're always hanging out outside and I wish we had an actual place to chill, instead of just hanging around a big planter box.

© 2014 Hyperlocal Media. All Rights Reserved.
best anti aging supplement miracle anti aging cream what is the best cream for your face vitamins for skin health best vitamin supplements for hair skin and nails