Zoning Board signs on for Uniland project

October 18, 2013 Updated Oct 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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Zoning Board signs on for Uniland project

October 18, 2013 Updated Oct 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM EDT

Uniland Development Co.'s proposed 12-story Delaware Avenue mixed-use building has cleared another hurdle in Buffalo City Hall.

The Buffalo Zoning Board of Appeals approved Uniland's design for the $80 million, 515,000-square-foot building planned for the northwest corner of Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street. Next up, final Buffalo Common Council approval and a decision on whether Uniland will seek incentives for the project from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and Empire State Development Corp.

"We are pleased with the progress of the project and continue to move forward with the regulatory approval process to prepare the site for reconstruction," said Jill Pawlik, Uniland senior marketing manager. "Only when all municipal, regulatory and public/private partnership approvals are complete, will the project move forward.".

Pending those approvals, construction could start later this winter.

Uniland acquired the site, the current Delaware Court Building, last year. The Amherst-based developer also bought a gas station at the corner of Chippewa Street and Elmwood Avenue that's also needed for the project. Remediation of the gas station site began earlier this fall.

Plans call for the building to house a 120-room hotel and 190,000-square-feet of Class A office space along with some first floor retail and restaurant space. Uniland officials are mum about the hotel's brand name or who will be the anchor office tenant.

A downtown whispering campaign, however, indicates that Delaware North Cos. will move its corporate headquarters from the Key Center twin towers to the new Uniland building. Delaware North's lease at Key Center expires in summer 2015 and the privately-held company has been scouting a number of downtown sites for its new headquarters.

Neither Delaware North nor Uniland have commented on that possibility.

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