“Urbanist Visions – Highland Park Project Breaks Ground”

LPCiminelli has broken grown on the Highland Park project, located on the site of the former Central Park Plaza in the Fillmore Leroy neighborhood. This is Phase 1 of the three phases for the $90 million project, which will ultimately result in 600 units in a mix of rental apartments, for-sale homes and townhomes.

Louis P. Ciminelli bought the 27-acre Central Park Plaza site for $800,000 in 2012. Located at 129 Holden Street, Central Park Plaza was once a thriving property with many commercial tenants, but as a result of the failure of its owners to maintain the site and changing demographics and shopping patterns, the tenants left and it had become a neighborhood nuisance.

Its Brooklyn-based owner was ordered to sell the property under a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Shortly after purchase, five buildings, approximately 275,000 square feet, were demolished at cost of $1.2 million.

Before breaking ground, LPCiminelli incorporated the extension of Chalmers Avenue into the project, which was the final piece of the puzzle, and signaled that work could commence. Phase 1 ($24M in investment) will include 4 buildings, totaling 52 apartments for rent, and 32 single-family for-sale townhomes. Preleasing for this segment is scheduled for Spring 2018. The first leg of the project will be move-in ready by summer of 2018.

What is interesting to note about this project is the urbanist approach that the developer is taking. The build out is intended to create a very walkable neighborhood, that is in close proximity to numerous forms of public transportation, including the Metro Rail Corridor. This new (for Buffalo) pedestrian friendly and transit-oriented layout is said to be a blueprint for further Buffalo developments down the road. There was no mention of bike lanes, shared walkways, or bike amenities, which would be a natural for this project.

Buffalo Mayor, Byron W. Brown stated, “My administration has set the foundation to attract private development back to the city, complementing the investments we’ve made in housing, community facilities, and infrastructure. It’s great to see the success of these with a developer who shares this vision and is building mixed-income housing in a neighborhood that’s primed for a great future.”

John A. Ciminelli, Senior Vice President of LPCiminelli stated, “The development process for Highland Park has revealed a strong desire by our community to strengthen existing neighborhoods and build on the assets of the City of Buffalo. The start of construction at Highland Park moves us all one step closer to realizing those goals.”

Project team members include LPCiminelli, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation, HHL Architects, Goody Clancy, and Wendel Companies. Learn more here.

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