Savarino Companies is making another change to its planned project at 1 Howell St., this time because its previous vehicle rotation proposal for buses and fire trucks on the dead end street is ultimately not feasible.
The Buffalo developer is proposing to redevelop an abandoned, fire-damaged former industrial property on the banks of Scajaquada Creek by demolishing the two-story structure at 1 Howell and replacing it with a four-story apartment building.
Elev8 Architecture’s plans call for a 60,535 square foot building, with 66 apartments on four floors, above a level of 43 semi-submerged parking spaces. The $15 million project would include 55 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom apartments, with 11 additional surface parking spaces.
Savarino responded to neighborhood criticism of lack of parking by agreeing to purchase vacant city-owned land across the street at 18 Howell, providing additional space for another 33 parking spaces – seven of which would be reserved for residents and visitors of the district. This gives the project 87 places in all. And the additional half-acre of land would also include a new public pocket park with benches and a Reddy Bikeshare hub.
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Plans had also included a new “T”-shaped bend at the foot of Howell, to make it easier for emergency vehicles, school buses, snow plows and residents to move onto the street and out.
But Savarino now says that won’t work, based on feedback from the city’s public works and parks and recreation departments. The proposed reversal “would encroach on the city’s park system and interfere with the potential location of future park improvements,” according to a letter to the city from project attorney Sean Hopkins. The Jesse Kregal Pathway biking and hiking trail borders the site.
Instead, Savarino now suggests that the two driveway connections at 1 Howell and 18 Howell – opposite each other – can serve as large vehicle rotations.
Revisions to the project will be considered Monday by the Buffalo Planning Board, along with the proposed redevelopment of the Salvation Army campus at 954 Main Street.
The committee will also consider special use permit applications for:
• AT&T Wireless will install new antennas and other cellular telecommunications equipment at 339, 343 and 345 Rhode Island Avenue.
• Hook & Ladder Development for a tavern and outdoor dining, to reopen a restaurant at 2115 Seneca St. as The Tillerman, with a capacity of 98 people indoors and 50 outdoors
• Samuel Martina for tobacco, hookah and vaping sales at Palm Trees in Buff at 1353 Hertel Ave.