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Residents mixed on Elmwood Village condo complex

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Another development fight is evolving, this time over a proposed site at Elmwood and Forest. Supporters and opponents packed a public meeting Monday night at Buffalo Seminary.

The proposal calls for  a five-story complex that would stretch along Elmwood and wrap onto Forest. It would encompass seven townhouses, 50 condominiums, some retail space and indoor parking for 155 cars. 

Though plans have been modified, the site is essentially the same location of a previous proposal that failed under strong opposition nearly five years ago.

Architect Steve Carmina believes he has made the appropriate changes.

"By creating this atrium space and pocket park, that we've done visually what the Green Code wants us to do. So, we feel very comfortable," Carmina explained.

Kildy Bronstein, who owns a building in the  vicinity, approves of the proposal.

"I think that the progress they have made since the original plan is really come a long way. I think it's a great progress for the Elmwood Village to really take," Bronstein said. "It's something we need. We need more businesses, more people."

Not all in attendance were so favorable.

"It's massive. I mean it's the length of a football field," said an audience member identifying herself as Susan. She lives on Granger, right behind the proposed complex.

"It doesn't fit in with the character or scale of the Elmwood Village. And, it's unfortunate that some people think that we either have to settle for what's there which has been allowed to deteriorate or we have to settle for something massive like this."

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
A large crowd attended Monday's public meeting at Buffalo Seminary.

The plan calls for the demolition of 12 buildings, many of which have fallen into disrepair.

Carmina says the design is still being worked on and he was unable to provide the prices for the proposed condominiums. The architect will need to complete the designs before he heads to the city Planning Board to start the approval process.


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.