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Ciminelli Real Estate buys 11 Elmwood properties

Posted at 8:28 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 18:49:46-04

It could be the next step in a new mixed use project headed to the heart of the Elmwood Village. Ciminelli Real Estate has completed a deal to purchase 11 properties in the area of Elmwood Avenue including the former J.P. Bullfeather's restaurant.

Ciminelli Real Estate confirms that the purchase price was $7.9 million and includes properties on Bidwell Parkway as well as Elmwood, Ashland and Potomac Avenues. 

Ciminelli spokesperson Anne Duggan tells 7 Eyewitness News that the company is now in the design process of a mixed use project for the parcels that would include residential, retail and parking components.

Once the design phase is completed the project plans will be presented to the community sometime in the near future. 

Some neighbors and business owners are hoping their beloved Elmwood Village will stay the same even though there are two major projects in the works that could change the face of the neighborhood.

"Will I stay there if it gets super dense? No. We probably won't," said Cherylrose Budd, who lives on Potomac Avenue. "We've been 30 years on this block and we would definitely reconsider moving."

"It's going to be a large development that's going to take us out of here for some period of time... or for good," said Manny Batcho, owner of a barber shop on Elmwood Avenue.

They are also concerned with the other development just a couple of blocks away, on Elmwood and Forest. A proposal by Chason Affinity that could build 57 condominiums.

"If it was three stories high and diverse in its look, that would be okay, but they're going so big that it's going to set shadow on the whole area," said Lory Pollina, who lives on Granger Place.

"I think the amount of traffic will make people more hesitant to thinking of this as walkable... it will bring people who don't understand why we live here," said Budd.

But not everyone thinks it would be a step backward. The owner of Ashker's Cafe thinks these new developments will bring new faces and investment to the area.

"I think change is always a good thing," said Sarah Nasca, co-owner of the Cafe, which sits on Elmwood Avenue. "It opens up new opportunities, new visions to the community area, maybe bring in something new that Buffalo needs to see to create a positive environment."

The Elmwood Village Association says if these projects continue moving forward, the developers will have to abide by Buffalo's Green Code. 

"If the code says you can only do it one way and they want to do something bigger or differently, they're going to have to go through a public process and a variance process," said president of the association, Wendy Sanders.

A Green Code meeting, which will be open to the public, will be held Thursday, October 6th at Buffalo's City Hall at 2 p.m.