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Taking a look inside 201 Ellicott

Courtyard and entrance to 201 Ellicott
Thomas O'Neil-White
The courtyard and entrance to 201 Ellicott St.

Local and state officials were on hand Wednesday for a walking tour of 201 Ellicott, a new affordable housing complex in the core of downtown Buffalo.

The new complex features 201 units for lease, 131 of which are 1 bedroom-one bathroom with the rest being 2 bedroom-one-bathroom units.

Kitchen space at 201 Ellicott
Thomas O'Neil-White
Kitchen space at 201 Ellicott

But getting to this place has not been easy, said project developer Paul Ciminelli, President and CEO of Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.

“We all know or maybe some of you know how controversial this project was initially to get off the ground,” he said. “We did have some of our detractors taking a surface parking lot off market and creating a project that really was we feel like is transformational to downtown Buffalo.”

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Ruth Anne Visnauskas sees 201 Ellicott as a catalyst for similar affordable housing development in the downtown sector.

“It isn't just the project,” she said. “Obviously it is an

Living room space in a first floor unit at 201 Ellicott
Thomas O'Neil-White
Living room space in a first floor unit at 201 Ellicott

impact. Affordable housing used to really just be about affordability and could we sort of get some affordability in a place. It then became that we wanted them to be sustainable. It then became the one of them to be architecturally significant and to be beautiful looking. We decided mixed use is really important to a lot of communities and we added that here. It's incredible to be at a project like this that hits the ball really out of the park on all of those fronts.”

201 Ellicott sits next to the brand new Braymiller Market at the corner of Ellicott and Clinton Streets. Belmont Housing manages the property and handles leasing process.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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