BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A proposed multi-million dollar renovation project on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo was the center of discussion on Wednesday night. Under the proposal, the former Pierce-Arrow Administration building will be converted into a large apartment complex.
The building used to be part of a sprawling car factory back in the 1930’s. Now, the building is being eyed for a $30M transformation that will bring more than 100 apartments.
Joseph Golombek, the Buffalo Common Councilmember for the North District, said, “But now you are seeing this happening along Elmwood Avenue, and it’s a continuation of the development that’s happening in downtown, but it is creeping into the neighborhoods, I am excited about that.”
If the proposal is approved, the future apartment complex at the Pierce-Arrow building will feature apartments from 500 to 1200 square feet – at market rate.
But there were some concerns brought up at the Black Rock Riverside Good Neighbors Planning Alliance meeting on Wednesday night. The concerns included security, and possible traffic issues nearby. Another big concern is parking. Will there be enough, and how much of a problem will it create?
“At best we are going to have 1 car parking spot per unit, so that’s going to increase the parking problem that is exacerbated in that neighborhood, I’ll take that problem any day to be honest with you versus some of the other problems we’ve had.”
The 123,000 square foot building was built in the early 1900’s. Under the plan, the building will have just a few changes on the outside, things like a canopy near the entrance, and new windows. The rest of the building will undergo restoration but will remain the same.
The owner of the Pierce-Arrow building, Joseph Hecht, was at the information meeting, but he declined an interview with News 4 because of a schedule conflict.
During the meeting, Hecht listened to the concerns, and laid out what the ultimate project would look like.
“I think Mr. Hecht the developer did a reasonably good job in explaining what his long term goals are for the project, I am satisfied, I cant speak for the group because we have not discussed it yet, but I think overall the group will be supportive of this project.”
The proposal will be brought up before Buffalo’s zoning board of appeals on the 21st, and then it will go before the Buffalo planning board later on the 26th.