10:23 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Plans ready for Central Park Plaza site

What could be the largest private housing development in Buffalo in years is close to starting construction on the 27 acres in North Buffalo, the site of the former Central Park Plaza.

Central Park Plaza awaits redevelopment.
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

Senior Vice President John Ciminelli of developer LP Ciminelli said heavy equipment should be on the site this summer doing site preparation for major residential construction next year.

Ciminelli noted this will be a $60-million transit-oriented development close to the Amherst Metro Rail Station.

Citizens review photos of the future of Central Park Plaza.
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

The developer believes it has the potential to uplift the surrounding residential areas in the Fillmore-Leroy community. 

"It's the largest housing, single housing development in the City of Buffalo that I'm aware of, that hasn't been done by either a government agency or the Housing Authority," Ciminelli said.

Tuesday night Ciminelli appeared at a meeting of the community group FLARE to talk about his plans. Those attending had a chance to offer opinions on potential building designs. Some designs attracted masses of green stickers of approval.

"A primary draw area (for the new housing is) the immediate neighborhood and the boundaries. It broadens out from there. But, we're creating a new housing development that we feel as though will be a local, city-wide, and even a regional draw," Ciminelli said.

Central Park Plaza awaits redevelopment.
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

Ciminelli said the site was once a quarry which was filled in with apparently anything available although nothing very environmentally dangerous. This summer's work will haul some of that away.