Community Appears Eager for 201 Ellicott Development

Parking remains a concern for some

April 23, 2019 - 1:53 am
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BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - The development team for the 201 Ellicott Street project made another presentation yesterday in front of the Buffalo Planning Board.

Several members of the public weighed in on the project, which proposes to combine an affordable housing aspect along with Braymiller's Market.

Almost all public comments made during Monday's meeting were in support of moving the project forward. The comments ranged from the necessity for fresh and healthy food access to the need for more downtown affordable housing housing.

Listen to more from the meeting below:

However, one concern that keeps appearing is the issue of parking.

"It just comes down to taking 375 structure parking spaces away from the core without addressing any of them or adding additional parking," said Mike Manning, who serves as vice president of leasing for Main Place Liberty Group. "We're opposed to anything along those lines."

The presentation team did come prepared with a traffic impact study. Mike Leydecker, senior transportation engineer Wendell, shared the essential findings of the study.

"This graphic shows 22 lots that are in the area and identifies over 580 spaces that are available," said Leydecker. "The current lot has 375 public spaces, so there is sufficient parking within a 10-minute walk of the facility to accommodate the displaced parking."

Listen to Leydecker's full traffic study report below:

Attorney Sean Hopkins went further in addressing the parking concerns.

"In terms of parking the green code is very clear," he began. "Number one, it doesn't require a minimum of on-site parking spaces, but with that being said, we recognized that was a topic to evaluate, so we have provided a traffic impact study, and more importantly, a transportation demand management plan, which basically demonstrates that we'll be reducing the peak demand for traffic by 40-percent."

Some of the ways that they plan on doing that is through ride sharing and a mobility hub.

However, Manning isn't completely buying the team's response as an adequate answer.

"I'm not disputing the parking study," Manning began. "But I can tell you that there's a study out there by Buffalo Place that refutes that, especially in our area when you go west of the site, which is really where the current 375 spaces are servicing."

Listen to full audio from Manning below:

An official vote on progressing the project from the Buffalo Planning Board won't come until later in May.

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