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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2015 Archives > June 2015 > 201 Ellicott Street

201 Ellicott Street

           MAYOR BROWN ANNOUNCES THAT A MAJOR DOWNTOWN STAKEHOLDER ADDS TO THE MOMENTUM AT 201 ELLICOTT STREET


City of Buffalo incorporates Erie Community College’s plan for enhanced downtown space into the development process for the future use of a city-owned parking lot that also seeks to attract a grocery store to downtown Buffalo

BUFFALO– As part of his commitment to continue the significant investment and job growth that is happening across the City of Buffalo, Mayor Byron W. Brown was pleased to announce today that Erie Community College (ECC) has become a key stakeholder in the City of Buffalo’s 201 Ellicott Street project, providing the development community with an even greater opportunity to transform a prime downtown parcel that is ready for redevelopment.

“Erie Community College is one of Buffalo’s higher education institutions and plays an important role in our city’s economic growth,” said Mayor Brown.  “By incorporating ECC’s plan to add a new downtown building into the city’s 201 Ellicott Street project, we are enhancing the overall scope of this project by bringing the successful developer an anchor tenant who is looking to bolster its downtown presence.”

Initially, the City of Buffalo released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for 201 Ellicott Street, a city-owned property on May 8, 2015.  Since then, ECC has reached out to the city and requested to be part of the formal process to determine if 201 Ellicott meets its future space needs.  Given this new opportunity, the City of Buffalo, in incorporating ECC’s plan into the 201 Ellicott Street development process, issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) today to identify a Developer to be designated for the site.  The issuance of the RFQ replaces the RFP released in May.

“Ongoing planning for the future of many of ECC’s academic and non-academic programs has illustrated the need for enhanced downtown space,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “We believe that being involved in this RFQ will not only assist the college in its pursuit of such space, but will also eventually help us bolster programmatic offerings across a reimagined City Campus. We’re excited about the ongoing redevelopment of downtown Buffalo and we’re committed to continuing as a vital part of the city’s present and future.”

201 Ellicott Street is owned by the City of Buffalo and is currently used as a surface parking lot. Downtown Buffalo is experiencing tremendous growth with an increase in demand for both apartment and condominium residential units. There is also a greater demand for retail offerings with the influx of new residents to downtown as well as a growing workforce population. This growth provides the opportunity to put 201 Ellicott Street to a higher and better use.

Mayor Brown’s Office of Strategic Planning is seeking qualifications from interested developers to demonstrate their capacity to develop a mixed-use development project that includes a full line grocery store, a significant residential element (with a possibility for condominiums), and a required parking ramp. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process will result in the City designating a Developer for 201 Ellicott Street.

As part of developing a mixed-use project for the site, the designated Developer will be asked to engage in a master planning process with Erie Community College “ECC”. ECC, a major Downtown stakeholder, is currently in the process of developing a plan to determine the future space needs of the college; in terms of programs and locations. A major part of that work will focus on an enhanced ECC presence downtown. The Developer will be required to work with ECC through its master planning process to determine if ECC’s needs can be incorporated into the mixed-use project at 201 Ellicott Street.

“201 Ellicott Street” is primed for development, uniquely situated near three main developments:  Canalside, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and the Larkin District.  These expanding areas of development, part of the over $5 billion in new economic development activity that’s underway citywide, build off of Buffalo’s Central Business District, which is anchored by major employers such as M&T Bank, HSBC Bank, Delaware North Companies, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Catholic Health, Hodgson Russ LLP, Phillips Lytle LLP, Erie Community College and soon, IBM.

“201 Ellicott Street” is also located a short walking distance away from Coca-Cola Field, home of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons of the International League, and in close proximity to Mayor Brown’s Cars Sharing Main Street Initiative which calls for the redesign and reconstruction of Main Street.

Mayor Brown’s RFQ for “201 Ellicott Street” comes at a time when Buffalo has one of the lowest effective tax rates in New York State, one of the strongest municipal budgets, and the City continues to revamp its development framework to better guide investment and expedite the approval process. Adding to the positive environment for investment, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo committed $1 billion to the Buffalo area to further economic development.

Each development team responding to this RFQ is required to provide a Statement of Qualifications as described in this section. RFQ submissions must be typewritten or computer generated and submitted in an 8 ½”x11” bound document format as well as an electronic file on disc or flash drive. If submitted under separate cover, appended studies and graphics should be clearly labeled to identify the development team.

Submissions must be received by registered mail or hand delivered and registered at the reception desk at the address below by 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

  • Brendan R. Mehaffy, Executive Director
    Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning
    920 City Hall
    Buffalo, New York 14202

All questions or inquiries regarding the RFQ must be submitted in writing to Rebecca Gandour, Director of Development at rgandour@city-buffalo.com. Questions and inquires will be accepted until Friday, July 22, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. Questions and responses will be posted on a continuing basis at www.city-buffalo.com/201Ellicott. Depending on the volume and complexity of questions, the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning cannot guarantee that questions and inquiries submitted after July 22, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. will be responded to prior to the submission deadline of Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

The RFQ can be found on the City of Buffalo’s website:  www.city-buffalo.com/201Ellicott.  It will also be sent to over 90 Buffalo developers and brokers, 285 national developers and brokers, 50 retailers, almost 70 minority developers and almost 50 women-owned developers. Again, submissions must be received by registered mail or hand delivered and registered at the reception desk at the address below by 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 29, 2015.