Mayor: Tops preferred choice for downtown store

Posted at 12:21 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-06 08:25:44-05

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown officially announced Tops Markets will be the resident grocery store at the 201 Ellicott St. development project.

During his 2016 State of the City address, Brown also announced Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation is the developer in charge of the mixed-use project.

"They will advance our vision of turning this city owned land into a mixed-use development that includes housing, and yes, a supermarket," Brown stated in his address in front of 1,700 business and community leaders.

But a spokesperson for Tops tempered Brown's enthusiasm, saying with the selection of a developer, Tops will now begin to explore "the feasibility of a grocery store at that location."

"As the operator of seven grocery stores already in the City of Buffalo, and as the leading provider of fresh products and quality savings, we feel it is important to the community to investigate opportunities to provide a top-notch grocery store for the downtown residents.However, at this time, we have not entered into any formal negotiations with Ciminelli Real Estate Corp," the spokesperson said.

The site is currently a surface parking lot near the Hotel at the Lafayette, tucked between the Buffalo & Erie County Library and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Around 14,000 people live within a half-mile of the site and with numbers growing the city believes there is a high demand for a grocery store in that area.

"Investment in the city is higher than it's been in decades," Brown said.

It has been one year since the 201 Ellicott project was first announced, and until Friday, there has been little information released about the plans.