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Tops not formally committed to 201 Ellicott yet

Posted at 3:21 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 19:27:15-04

Plans for the highly anticipated "mixed use" project at 201 Ellicott Street are moving ahead but there is still no formal agreement with Tops Friendly Markets to be a part of the development.

Tops was identified by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown four months ago as the "preferred operator" of a downtown grocery store at the site. The company says it is interested in the project but that work needs to be done before a deal is finalized. "What's been going on downtown has been pretty impressive and we want to be a part of that." said Tops CEO Frank Curci on Tuesday. "We still have to see what exactly is going to happen here. So there is still a lot of work to do before the grand opening of a supermarket."

Still the development project as a whole is moving forward. At a news conference Tuesday, Brown and officials from Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation announced a formal development agreement between the City and the developer for 201 Ellicott.  That agreement will be filed with the Common Council in June.  Brown announced at his 2016 State of the City address that Ciminelli would be the developer for the highly-anticipated project.

Ciminelli is paying $15,000 per month to the City for the lot, prorated towards the purchase price, while plans get drafted. 

Ciminelli and Tops expect to meet over the next several months to finalize plans on a potential deal for the grocery store component of the project. The mixed use development will also including housing, retail spaces and a parking component.  

The goal is to break ground at 201 Ellicott in the spring of 2017, and complete the project two years later, in the spring of 2019.