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Multi-faceted Cooperage project approved along Ohio Street corridor

Demolition may start on a decrepit waterfront landmark as early as next week after Buffalo's Planning Board on Monday approved Ellicott Development's Cooperage project just off Ohio Street.

The building is the old E & B Holmes Machinery plant on Chicago Street, so close to Ohio Street that it's roughly across from another Ellicott project along the Buffalo River.

Ellicott's director of development, Tom Fox, says what had been a dirt road flanked by weeds is being converted to a modern parkway flanked by an increasing array of new buildings attracting commercial and residential tenants.

By the time the $6-7 million complex is open, it will include a major plant for Resurgence Brewing, a distillery, a giant rock climbing wall complex, a restaurant and beer garden and ten apartments.

Fox says Ellicott can plan on having the new complex open by the end of the year because of much advanced planning.

"All sorts of planning with the demolition applications, with working with our architects on design and stabilization of some of the existing facilities, along with demolition of others on the property. We laid out a schedule here and with the type of construction we are talking about, with the metal buildings that I referenced in the presentation, it allows us to have a fast-track schedule," Fox said.

Fox says Ellicott still has large pieces of land in the area available for future projects.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.