The Ciminelli Real Estate plan for 201 Ellicott St. in downtown Buffalo is drawing criticism from a future neighbor. Rocco Termini, owner of the nearby Hotel Lafayette, opposes the project: “Don’t put this in the central business district of the city of Buffalo.” During WBFO’s Press Pass, Termini outlines his objections in a lengthy critique that is likely to prompt debate over walkable communities and the path forward for future downtown development.
Buffalo Rising’s Newell Nussbaumer organized the conversation. Unable to join in the recorded interview, developer Paul Ciminelli was not on hand to refute Termini’s criticisms.
After reviewing the design plans, Termini calls the proposed steel structure something “you normally see in an industrial park. It just has a fancy front on it. It’s what they call ‘Butler buildings.’”
Nussbaumer asked if the proposal would meet the city’s Green Code standards.
“It won’t get past the planning board,” Termini stated.
The proposed design is only one concern. He points out how the current site is home to 400 parking spots which will disappear once the project is completed. Original plans, he points out, called for 800 underground parking spaces.
“I would hope that everyone would come to the table, sit down and have a rational discussion about what’s needed and how we go forward from here,” said Termini, “and if I have to tie this project up for a year or two, I will until it’s done right.