Demolition plans for Elmwood project withdrawn

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 20:37:08-05

Plans for a major development project in the heart of the Elmwood Village have taken another step back.

Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation announced on Friday that the company has withdrawn demolition permits for all existing structures involved in the 'Arbor + Reverie' project that is proposed for the area of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway.  

Demolition before there was a site plan approved by the Buffalo planning board was among the concerns of many in the community. Many living in the neighborhood voiced concerns that the project was not a good match for the area.

Late Friday afternoon, Paul Ciminelli, the President and CEO of  Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation released a statement that said in part -

“Let me formally clear up an confusion and reiterate that there will be no demolition at the site prior to the Green Code going into effect, and that the project will go through the entire approval process established by the Green Code. The City of Buffalo has worked long and hard on developing an updated Green Code and our team has been closely following the changes to ensure our project is aligned with the new Code"

New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan called this a "major win" for members of the Elmwood Village. "Ciminelli wanted to sneak demolitions in before the Buffalo Green Code went into effect, and they were caught. Now that they have admitted defeat, and withdrawn requests for demolition permits, I hope Ciminelli will work with the community to create a development plan that focuses on adaptive reuse, fits the Green Code, and that the community can agree on."

The news comes on the heels of Ciminelli announcing earlier in the week that the company planned to drop the most controversial part of the proposed Arbor + Reverie development, which would have included the demolition of buildings along Bidwell Parkway.

Ciminelli will now focus on the 'Reverie' portion of the development which is north of Potomac on Elmwood.