Ciminelli Real Estate and the City of Buffalo announced last week that Braymiller Market will be part of a mixed-use apartment building at 201 Ellicott Street, three years after Tops had been named as the preferred operator but then backed out.

Initial renderings were shown at a public information meeting, and Hotel Lafayette Owner Rocco Termini says the steel frame building is something you would see in an industrial park, and not next to a historic downtown building.

"The hotel was actually crying after they saw that rendering,” Termini said.

Termini also took issue with the parking situation, and says he plans to challenge the State Environmental Quality Review, in court if nothing is changed.

The current city-owned surface lot has 400 parking spaces.

Ciminelli Real Estate Spokesperson Matt Davison says there will be no on-site parking for its 201 apartments.

Its current rendering shows about 30 parking spaces for market customers.

"How about people that work at NFTA? How about people that work at M&T Bank? How about for the future development of the old AM&A's Department Store? Where do all of those people park?" Termini said.

Buffalo city officials say parking was studied closely by both Ciminelli Real Estate and the administration. 

They cite the nearby Adams and One Seneca ramps and a surface lot at Washington and Broadway in addition to on-street parking.

Strategic Planning Director Brendan Mehaffy says there won't be as much vehicular traffic as there would be in a suburban market.

"Here, you're next to literally the center of the bus system for the region next door with the NFTA. You're two blocks away from the Metro Rail station, and you have a growing residential population, which this is focused on, that growing residential population, which many we would expect would be able to walk to that site," Mehaffy said.

Termini says he disagrees with the city's assessment of the parking situation.

"They want people to park in the arena parking down at the KeyBank [Center] and walk a half a mile or take public transportation to their work. That just doesn't work in Buffalo. People want to park near where they work, and I don't think that's a doable situation,” said Termini.

Ciminelli Real Estate released the following statement to Spectrum News:

“While some may view this as a progressive development project for our region, we believe the evolved design concept is in the best interest of Downtown Buffalo and the surrounding neighborhood. CannonDesign is a world class architecture firm with vast experience in urban concept design. At the same time, Braymiller Market’s entry into the project offers a dynamic fresh food offering and sustainable business model that works within the proposed operational footprint. Regarding parking, multiple recent studies have cited an abundance of surface and garage parking in and around Downtown Buffalo. This project has been designed to reflect that inventory and the modern realities of mobility and transit oriented development.”