© 2023 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Approval of million-dollar waterfront townhomes expected in 2 weeks

Google Maps

A decision on one of the last developable pieces of land on the Buffalo waterfront was delayed again Tuesday, as the process moves from four to five years.

The nearly two-and-a-half-acre parcel at 240-260 Lakefront Boulevard - located between The Pasquale and Admiral's Walk at Rivermist - has had several plans, starting with 31 townhouses and condominiums plus a four-story building. Now, it is 20 townhouses and the proposed price for the land to Ciminelli Real Estate has dropped $900,000, partially because of the costs of unexpected chemical remediation needed for the land.

"In the southern direction, an additional 10.7 feet," said Ciminelli Senior Development Manager Amber Holycross of the design changes made. "What that did was increase the waterfront setback from 115 feet to 120 feet. It also opened up the viewshed an additional six feet beyond what would have been provided if we would have simply pulled all townhomes back the additional 15 that had previously been requested."

There has been more tinkering with the design in recent weeks to pacify some neighbors in a contentious development struggle. There are still opponents.

Neighbor Louis Fasolino said the process should be re-opened.

"I also have a deep concern in regards to the original RFP, which was issued approximately 4 1/2-5 years ago and now they are proposing, Ciminelli is proposing, to get a $900,000 reduction," Fasolino said. "I think this is ludicrous."

Common Council President Darius Pridgen said the plan will be approved in two weeks, but he wants the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency to approve the deal before the Council does.

"There were many changes, from this tall building that had a swimming pool on top with glass and parking to now a few townhouses, well some townhouses," Pridgen said. "Nobody is going to be totally happy, but I think that at the end of the day, the process that is before the people has worked somewhat. It has worked somewhat to change a project."

The land actually belongs to BURA and the deal includes a profit split with Ciminelli if the units go for more than $1 million each or $18 million total.

There are a lot of important people living among the 367 current housing units on the waterfront and there has been a real power fight over any development, preservation of views and public access to the water's edge.

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.