Times Two for Termini

Developer Rocco Termini is planning a pair of redevelopment projects in North Buffalo.  Termini has the FWS complex on Elmwood Avenue under contract and is also planning to renovate a nearby industrial property at 316 Chote Street.  Both will be a mix of residential plus commercial space and utilize historic preservation tax credits. 

FWSElm.jpgFWSRender.JPGnobucorridor.JPGThe FWS complex at 1738 Elmwood Avenue contains 85,000 sq.ft. of space in a series of two and three-story buildings built around a central courtyard.  It was designed by Esenwein & Johnson for the General Railway Signal Co.

316 Grote Street, behind Papa Jake’s restaurant and across from the Pierce Arrow complex, is a 28,160 sq.ft. two-story building currently owned by Ursula Mangano.  “Houk Lofts’ will contain 22 one and two-bedroom apartments and approximately 2,000 sq.ft. of commercial space.  A tattoo studio is expected to be one of the commercial tenants.

Termini told WIVB: “This is an untapped neighborhood. You’re three blocks from Buff State. You’re a block away from Wegmans. It’s a walkable, sustainable community. And I think it’s going to be a very cool community.”

Total cost for the two projects is approximately $30 million. 

 

IMG_3479.jpgIMG_3482.jpgGrote 2012-11-09.jpgRenderings courtesy of BMS Design

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56 comments
LouisTully
LouisTully

Actually, you're a bit off. There's no adult shop across the street. It's about 1/10 mile north.

Actually, the buildings across the street are pretty cool. The one on the Valu parking lot is a pretty neat building. The Elmwood/Hertel intersection has to have one of the busiest traffic flows in the region.

The fact there aren't thriving businesses here is astounding. I think? Dickies Donuts: vacant. Southwest corner: vacant. Valu plaza: failure in design. NW has smut shop, but I'm partial to Hogan's Heros that used to be there. They had an awesome steak sandwich.

Tim
Tim

Honestly, I think the fact that this area is sandwiched between two smut shops is not helping.'Wheres your business located?' 'Corner of hertel and Elmwood. Next to the big xxx shop, and across the street from porn world.' Of course, I would NEVER set foot in such filth. Lol.

whatever
whatever

lol, I meant the Termini loft topic would lure you more so than my comments of course.

After all, as you've said - it isn't me that's your focus - it's a groupthink of various unnamed something or others… maybe people who don't feel comfortable with trendy urban dwellings!

hmm, now your point about comfort make me wonder if maybe Ryan and Poloncarz just don't feel comfortable with trendy wine stores in Amherst or trendy mini auto dealers in Clarence, …

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

So I went to the FWS liquidation sale -- to see the building, of course. What a find! Although I couldn't go on the 3rd floor, the first and second looked in great shape -- in other words, not a lot of rehab work needs to be done, unlike many older buildings that become tax credit projects that have been through a period of neglect or worse. And the interior is so spartan -- brick, steel, concrete -- that converting the space to other uses shouldn't involve much interior demolition. And there are multiple existing elevators. If there's such a thing as an "easy" conversion, this should be it.

Couldn't see into the courtyard, though :-/

300miles
300miles

Isn't that the big difference between the two companies?

Termini buys a site, completes a project, then moves to the next project. Completes that project then moves on again.

Ellicott buys a site, then sits on it for a decade while buying other sites that they'll sit on for a decade.

I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but it seems to become more and more true with every project.

Tim
Tim

So disappointing if ellicott put that one on the back burner. That was a great proposal. Sometimes I think developers make plans like this in order to drum up interest to get a good offer on the property. Pure speculation, but why propose something and not act on it? Red tape?

sbrof
sbrof

Grew up with that view. It is awesome! I felt claustrophobic when I moved 'inland'

LouisTully
LouisTully

There was an article on here a while back about Ellicott Development planning lofts for the building right at Niagara and Busti...the building with the power lines coming off it crossing the river.

Buffaboy
Buffaboy

Quick question: are there any proposals around/hidden to fix up those warehouses along the 190 by the P.B. into something? Because they, well unfortunatly, give a bad first impression to folks coming off the brige. It should be a higher priority because of the aesthetic issue. Plus where will you get a panorama of Canada and the bridge, and the river? It just seems like the right place for lofts and convinent.

whatever
whatever

Meliq -

Honest, I really tried to write those suburb adjectives to be clearly tongue-in-cheek.

Yes if somebody wrote anything like that seriously, I'd agree it would be pretentious & moronic.

C'mon … wasn't "Walmart Land" a give away?

lol - even cool progressive Buffalo will be getting one if rumors are true - even during our Renaissance!

whatever
whatever

I had a feeling this one would lure you back again, lol

btw - if anyone cares - I'm not at all against the concept Rocco converting these buildings to residential. I don't think I've ever been against any Rocco project regarding the projects themselves, or ever been among those who are 'uncomfortable' with them whatever that might mean (or whoever those unnamed folks might be?)

Did doubt what Chris said about population. Looks like Louis & Trav seemed open minded to my point about that.

(aside to answer Louis' q to me - I've no idea what % of tenants would otherwise insist on living in burbs if this wasn't built. I'm not saying it's 0%, but I think a lot of reasons people choose burbs are preferences in things like more space, less density, perceptions re schools, services, quality of life, crime, etc. Maybe not as much that they can't find nice apts in city, although sometimes for very fussy people it could happen. I'd never say it never happens.

And Meliq - I'm not saying anyone's subjective preferences or perceptions are right or wrong.)

Also kettle/whathave -

On subsidy topic, since you brought that up here…

It will be interesting to see what the reaction from Hoyt's replacement Sean Ryan will be _if_ Rocco asks for 'industrial' IDA funding for either of these. I've been agreeing with Ryan when he's loudly opposed IDA $ given to retailers in districts other than his. Maybe we'll see if he has the same view toward it for residential in his district if it's asked for.

joey d
joey d

I attended the meeting Wed. night...primarily for the proposed Hertel - Military scrap transfer yard..seems like a good project, already zoned.... and the planned landscaping, completely paved yard, which will keep the dust down, approx 30 jobs, @ living wage and higher, local construction firm Jim's Electric to oversee entire project..Joel Giambra was very candid in answering all the questions put to him, along with the current owner of the property.. $7 million dollar investment is a shot in the arm for this long time drury corner.

Also Rocco presented his plans for the FWS bldg and warehouse on Grote st....and had a positive response from the attendees. Good to see some movement in these areas, that sorely could use improvement. Now if the city can entice the owner of the Hertel / Elmwood vacant corner to sell to some type of commercial development..it would be icing on the cake!

newskylinebuffalo
newskylinebuffalo

Sign me up! Hope these lofts will be reasonable for a college student. Very exciting

BuffaloBobZ
BuffaloBobZ

At pierce arrow I also believe there is a big production style area going in, where artists, photographers, video artists can go in and rent space, equipment, and the like for use. It actually sounds really cool.

ByronBrownsTie
ByronBrownsTie

F The Red Tape is correct in his astute observation.

To know Rocco is to know a man is no frills, all business and does what he says he's going to do.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Yeah, I know who it is. Meh. I'd rather eat dog food. But that's neither here nor there. I imagine it is a great location for such an operation. The building looks decrepit. I'd love to know who the owner is and what the hell is going on with it.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Always willing to welcome new residents to the neighborhood, especially those willing to invest in and beautify their property. As for our "intellectual differences", I think philosophical differences is more accurate. On curb appeal I think you have a lot of catching up to do but welcome the competition. :)

Tim
Tim

Distillery district: a poor window shoppers' paradise. (Meant in a good way)

JM
JM

I haven't been able to get down there first hand but I have a few friends that use it for video/film production. http://thefvc.com/

Meliq
Meliq

@ whatever

How dare you paint all people who live in the suburbs with the same brush! I can't believe I'm actually taking your comment personally but I'm sick of people like you on BRO making us feel less we are personally responsible for the downfall of American cities just b/c I want my kids to have a decent sized yard to play in and better schools to go to. Why don't you start blaming the corrupt goverments, NAFTA, NYS tax system, poor planning and lack of vision for the state of our city.

Or perhaps we just don't want to live near, coexist or deal with pretentious, moronic douch bags like you. Get over yourself!!!!

Tim
Tim

How about I buy a house facing the river and you and I settle our intellectual differences with a curb appeal battle. Lol.

rpm40
rpm40

It totally slipped my mind- not only is it the link between Elmwood, Hertel and Delaware, but it runs right up to Amherst street and everything that's going on there. That single stretch of a few blocks really has the potential to connect numerous points in a really signifigant way. Love it.

rpm40
rpm40

I wonder if these spots were always top of his radar, or if all the action with La Fitness, Walmart, etc. had an impact on his decision. Maybe we can take this as another clue that something is definitely going to happen at the corner of Hertel and Elmwood?

Personally, I think this corner is the most surprising failure in that part of the city. It's the hub between Elmwood, Hertel and Kenmore, all fairly intact, dense, interesting neighborhoods. Working to connect the three here just makes sense to me.

I'm for it on a personal note too- I'd love to see my Kenmore neighborhood better connected with the galleries and parks. I pass this stretch between Hertel and Amherst street numerous times a week, and right now it's got a gritty industrial vibe

and not much else.

Rocco IS the man.

brownteeth
brownteeth

There is a distillery at Pierce Arrow, it's called "8 Buffalo Spirits" I think. An aquaintance of mine started it, his father owns a popular restaurant on Elmwood. I hear he's the first distillery in Buffalo since pre-prohibition as the fees were so costly to legally start-up until very recently.

"Realist"
"Realist"

Louis, common sense would indicate that apartments like this will add choices to the entire regional housing market and not simply shift people around in one part of it.

The issue here is traditional Americans like us do not feel comfortable with trendy urban dwellings such as these. We believe the makers in this country ought to be living in big homes far away from the ills of the city.

We've invented arguments of shuffling the deck in the city, as well as some selective subsidy outrage, as part of our culture battle against this type of living option.

Irish Dave
Irish Dave

Just had a real good laugh about the Marble Rye, Mabel Chote comment!

Mabel: "Help, he stole my marble Rye!"

Jerry: "Shut up, you old bag!!"

LouisTully
LouisTully

Referring to Toronto, right? I'd love to know what's going on with the Pierce Arrow building. I recall a distillery going in there. But I'd love to know what the prospects are for the building. What's the occupancy? Who are the tenants? What reuses could there be, and is there anything really worthwhile about it?

LouisTully
LouisTully

Yeah, I doubt he could stop population decline himself. But, whatever, you don't think his properties attract people that would otherwise not choose to live in the city? I would wager the impact here is reasonably significant. The particular impact, I would think, is that though people might locate somewhere in the city, because of his properties they have plenty of options in the city center. Properties like his probably have a pretty good impact on where people relocating here decide to live. Interesting discussion.

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

I don't know if he is staves off "Buffalo's population decline", but he is a HUGE catalyst to making Buffalo sexier, chic, and desirable among young professionals (in particular)...which, certainly helps to make the city more desirable. And, he injects hope into the landscape and builds off our architecture and heritage, which is adding a layer of sophistication to the projects.

How cool would it be to see this as a mini Distillery District?

LouisTully
LouisTully

Speaking of...

Anyone have any idea what's up with the proposed development at Busti/Niagara? I believe it was an Ellicott Development proposal. That would have a great impact.

LouisTully
LouisTully

That's a real tough stretch. What makes you optimistic about that stretch of Niagara? 18mil from Rich's is nice but Rich's has been there for a while anyway. There's some great buildings with potential but it take some strong specs to see the upside here.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Were you at the BR/R GNPA meeting Wednesday night to see Rocco's presentation?

whatever
whatever

"he may single handedly stop Buffalo's population decline"

Or he may mostly shift around people who'd live in the city regardless.

(not that there's anything wrong with that shifting around ... just sayin)

It depends what % of people who end up being his tenants would otherwise insist on living in one of our boring soulless undiverse snotty suburbs if Rocco's apartments didn't exist.

Difficult to believe any cool progressive people with good taste would insist on living out there in Walmart Land for any reason... but maybe there's all kinds of freaks in the world - lol

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Tim, Black Rock and Riverside are the city's only true riverfront neighborhoods. The views here are among the best on the entire Niagara River. The patio at Aqua (old Harry's) is really nice and Squaw Island offers many opportunities to see great views of the river from the Peace Bridge to Strawberry Island.

The 190 was built in 1957 and severed the neighborhoods historic connection to the river. The footprint of this highway impacts a large area that would be prime for developement. The adjoining area along Niagara St would also become much more desirable if the 190 was relocated. The rail corridor along Tonawanda St from the 198 interchange north could accomodate the highway or better yet a become a parkway.

Chris
Chris

Wow, fantastic! Every time I go past the FWS building I marvel at what a great building it is. Can't wait to see this done. I can't imagine a better outcome.

If Rocco Termini continues to create these great places to live in the city, he may single handedly stop Buffalo's population decline.

Tim
Tim

I was exploring black rock and riverside the other day and couldn't help cranking my neck at the river views. Some of the best visual real estate in the city. Sigh. So much potential.

elmdog
elmdog

All great to hear but does this mean Rocco is done in the city for a while? If so, that is disappointing ....... To bad the Governor hasn't lived up to his promise with the tax credits

grad94
grad94

the renderings remind me of the distillery district in toronto.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Do you mean way up Niagara by the 198 interchange?

LouisTully
LouisTully

I'd rather do alot of things besides travel through the underpass going under the tracks right at FWS on foot or bike. I've seen some clown go through on the wrong side because they were annoyed at slower drivers in front of them.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

This stretch of Elmwood needs some serious traffic calming measures. Pedestrians and bicyclists are at high risk, especially between Amherst and Hertel. If Wal Mart builds here the problem with be considerably worse.

The restoration of old firehouse at Great Arrow has much improved this area, would be nice to see the Pierce Arrow building restored as well.

LouisTully
LouisTully

"316 Chote Street."

Of course, named after Mabel Chote from "The Rye" episode of Seinfeld.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

LOVE Niagara St in Black Rock, but my Larkin District reference was to the section of Niagara with all the industrial buildings. Common thread -- literally -- between that, Larkin, and where Rocco is investing is adjacency to the Belt Line.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Black Rock and the Hydraulic's (Larkin District) have much in common. Both developed around water power in the 1820's and both were heavily industrialized during the 19th century. Both neighborhoods suffered from the 190 bisecting the community and both remained fairly stable until the 1970's. Black Rock has two rare Federal Style homes dating to 1830 and the Hydraulics retains one example of the same style and period.

Finally, both neighborhoods have a great collection of architecture that is finally starting to attract attention.

joey d
joey d

UH...I think you mean 316 GROTE ST.

A rather great shot in the arm for this area...much needed ...but will they pay $1200/ month for a 2br in this area??

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