Brick x Brick Awards

And the award goes to... 

It's that time of year again! Buffalo Business First held their annual Brick x Brick award ceremony (this year at the splendid Lexus Club in Key Bank Center). We are honored to share that we won two out of four total finalist nominations! 

Best Historic Preservation went to the Phoenix Brewery Apartments and Best New Retail went to The Delavan, while the Bosche Lofts were a finalist for Best Green Rehab and the Crescendo was a finalist for Best Multi-Residential. Congratulations to all the nominees and the entire project teams that made these outstanding developments happen! See the entire list of winners online, here

Historic Preservation Month: Redevelopment

A LOOK INSIDE THE REDEVELOPMENT PROCESS

In Buffalo, our historic architecture speaks to the growth of our industries, the impact it has had on our residential stock, and the eventual fall from that perch. The opportunity to resurrect that culture in a current time of growth and confidence in our city sets preservation as a top priority and becomes top of mind, especially during the month of May which is recognized nationally as Historic Preservation Month. 

In order to find a balance between past and present structural importance, one must understand that Preservation is an all-encompassing term that is improperly used for any project dealing with a building older than twenty-five years, but preservation projects can range anywhere from restoration to renovation to reconstruction type developments. 

Although new structures may seem simpler to design and implement, redeveloping historic structures allows us to create a result that is both charming and unique. 

Why is preservation important?

  • Economic incentives spur development of otherwise typically undevelopable buildings 
  • Job creation and spin off investment
  • Further understanding of the lineage of a location or building and the impact on society
  • Opportunity for the architect to engage in a design that interacts with history
  • Opportunity to regain confidence in our city

When first approaching a historic preservation development, if it is identified as a possible project, it is critical to determine if it is eligible for National Registry and therefore tax incentives. It is also important to consider how to make the project viable by inspecting the surroundings to determine what made the building deteriorate, deciding who should be the caretaker or developer of the building, and breaking down the building’s condition and character. 

What are the greatest challenges of preservation?

  • Perception: negative stereotypes of the approach as one that prevents change and growth can be hard to overcome 
  • Dependent on the project, problems could arise based on financing or the building’s stability
  • Architecturally speaking, it is difficult to establish a new paradigm in a building that was not designed for that purpose while maintaining a high level of preservation standards

What are the greatest outcomes?

  • Seeing a building left for demolition restored and brought back to operation
  • Seeing business thriving and the public enjoying the project 

With the right team in place, you can likely find a solution that manages all interests and results in the project being created. The Historic Tax Credit programs at the State and Federal level are to thank for the restoration of major commercial buildings. It is important to maintain these tax credits, as many historic projects are being completed by individuals who are investing without much help. The passion and commitment that many have for preserving our region’s buildings is irreplaceable and the rebirth of our city hinges on our ability to support these individuals. To learn more about the Historic Preservation efforts throughout Buffalo, or to find out how you can get involved, visit: The Preservation League of NYS at www.preservenys.org or The Landmark Society of WNY at www.landmarksociety.org


About the author: Steven Carmina is a Partner with Carmina Wood Morris, DPC an Architecture Engineering and Interior Design firm, and has been a Buffalo Niagara Partnership member for two years. Steve’s experience spans more than thirty years of planning, design, and project implementation for a diverse range of projects. An AIA member, Steve is also an active board member of Buffalo Place, March of Dimes, Buffalo Hearing & Speech, and Traffic on Main Street.

Carmina Wood Morris Retained for 79 Perry Project

CARMINA WOOD MORRIS CHOSEN TO PARTNER WITH PSE IN COBBLESTONE PROJECT

79 Perry Street Project Architect Retained

 Pegula Sports and Entertainment has retained Carmina Wood Morris, DPC to provide Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Interior Design services for the development of the Hi-Temp Fabrication/Peerless Fabrication building at 79 Perry Street. Specializing in historic preservation, the firm recognizes the importance of this century-old landmark.

“We are extremely honored and excited to partner with Pegula Sports and Entertainment, McGuire Development, and Labatt USA,” said Steve Carmina, AIA. “This is a vital project for the Cobblestone district and we’re thrilled to bring PSE’s vision to life.”

Mixed-use development plans for the 79,030 square-foot building include the Labatt USA headquarters and brew house/restaurant, commercial office space, and residential units. A leader in historic adaptive re-use, CWM has spearheaded the restoration of numerous buildings throughout the city, including the Hotel Lafayette and the AP Lofts.

“PSE is extremely passionate about redeveloping this historic property,” said Frank Cravotta, Pegula Sports and Entertainment’s EVP of creative services. “We have studied the past use of this building and properties similar to it, and are creating a plan that will protect its historical significance and tell the story of Labatt and our region. CWM has a vision to accomplish our unique objectives, and we are proud to partner with them."


Carmina Wood Morris, DPC...

Carmina Wood Morris has developed a distinct reputation for their design and technical skills over the last sixteen years. The principals of CWM: Steven J. Carmina, AIA; R. Christopher Wood, PE; Jonathan H. Morris, AIA; and Pamela Timby-Straitiff, CID IIDA; credit the success of their firm to the attention to detail, aesthetics, and service given to each project and client. They are a dynamic team collaborating to achieve innovative solutions, grounded in core values, respected in their profession and community.

CWM Wins 6th NYS Preservation Award

Phoenix Brewery Apartments Wins NYS Preservation Award

Before

Before

After

After

The Preservation League of New York State has selected the Phoenix Brewery Apartments in Buffalo to receive an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The League's statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York State's irreplaceable architectural heritage. This is the 6th time CWM has won this prestigious award for their work.

"Built in 1888 as a brewery, this building has already risen from the ashes once, when a fire destroyed more than half the structure and it earned its moniker 'Phoenix Brewery'," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "This project has transformed a vacant building and is the first market-rate residential development in the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus neighborhood. Meticulous restoration of the building's brick and sandstone masonry, replacement of the lost central "crown" of the structure's cornice, and sensitive interior work earned the approval of the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Office, facilitating the use of Historic Preservation Tax Credits."

The project team included Jonathan Morris and Joseph Dorobiala of Carmina Wood Morris; Nick Sinatra, Matt Connors, Cole Hatley, and Tim Spitler of Sinatra and Company Real Estate; Donald Guize, IBC Engineering PC; and Lauri Traynor, Studio T3 Engineering.. The project used State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

In 2014, Sinatra and Company Real Estate announced plans for a mixed-use redevelopment of the Phoenix Brewery. The building's rebirth includes 3,000 square feet of commercial space and thirty-one unique, luxury loft apartments with exposed brick accents, tall ceilings, polished concrete floors and high-end finishes. Containing 15 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom units ranging in size from 714 square feet to 1,314 square feet, each has a unique layout and several have second level loft areas. Carmina Wood Morris, DPC was retained by Sinatra & Co. to design the structure's reconstruction and restoration, securing Historic Preservation Tax Credits necessary to fund the project's implementation. Sinatra is donating ten percent of project profits to Say YES Buffalo, a community education collaborative aimed at increasing high school and post-secondary completion rates.

"This recognition is so rewarding because we had several specific challenges to overcome," said Joe Dorobiala of Carmina Wood Morris. "We're proud to work with enlightened development partners who allow us to bring forth our special expertise to keep Buffalo's historic past alive."

The awards will be presented at the Preservation League's Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th at the historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street.

The complete list of award winners is: Phoenix Brewery Apartments, Buffalo; Beekman Hotel and Residences/Temple Court, New York City; A. Philip Randolph Houses, Phase One, New York City; South Street Seaport Museum: the 1885 sailing ship Wavertree, New York City; Rouge Tomate Chelsea, New York City; Marriott Syracuse Downtown (formerly Hotel Syracuse); Pickens Hall & Opera House, Heuvelton; Argos Inn, Ithaca. Ruth Pierpont, the former Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation and the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, will be honored for decades of service to the cause of historic preservation in New York State.

"With our annual awards program, the Preservation League explores not just the present, but the future of historic preservation. Many of the 2017 award winners provide valuable examples for others by incorporating energy efficiency techniques, adaptive reuse strategies and use of Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits," said DiLorenzo. "Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable nominations, and this year was no exception. We are delighted to celebrate the rebirth of the historic Phoenix Brewery as the Phoenix Brewery Apartments, and to commend all members of the project team for their leadership and vision."

Buffalo City Mission

 
Buffalo City Mission

Project In Progress

Following the standards of the newly-enacted Green Code, the plans for a new home for Buffalo City Mission are underway! Buffalo Business First details, here.  "At 74,000-square-feet, the building is nearly double the size of the City Mission’s current 38,318-square-foot home base that sits on the same parcel. The larger size serves as a reflection of the Buffalo City Mission’s growing customer base and demands on the agency.

We're looking for a talented individual to join our engineering team!

Carmina Wood Morris, DPC, a full service civil engineering and architectural consulting firm has an immediate opening for an experienced Civil Engineer in our Buffalo, NY office. The successful candidate will be part of a team that provides site planning, design and engineering services for a wide variety of clients both local and statewide. The position involves all aspects of design for land development projects including single family subdivisions, multi-family apartment projects and commercial site plans. The individual would be responsible for taking projects from concept through design, municipal approvals and permits. It is preferred that the individual have hands on design experience in the areas of site layout/code compliance, grading, storm drainage design and utility layout. Engineering tasks will include preparation of drawings using ACAD Civil 3D, developing supporting calculations, preparation of SWPPP documents, report writing and interaction with clients/municipalities.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from an accredited college or university
  • 4-6 years of experience in a full time civil engineering design position with emphasis on experience in site layout, including grading, stormwater management, utility design, erosion control, regulatory approvals and code compliance.
  • Extensive experience with AutoCAD Civil 3D required
  • Experience with civil engineering software including HydroCAD is preferred
  • An E.I.T. certificate is required. A Professional Engineer's license is preferred
  • Self-motivated, organized and able to work independently; someone with strong communication and interpersonal skills.

CWM offers a generous benefits package and a competitive wage that will be commensurate with your experience.

Please contact Christopher Wood, PE for further information at cwood@cwm-ae.com or 716-842-3165, ext 103.

Greater As One

This year instead of giving gifts to one another, our staff gathered a donation (which the partners generously matched) which we chose to share with our friends at Journey's End today! 

Pictured Left To Right: JERS Director of Finance, Jeff Knapp; Steven Carmina, Partner; Karen Andolina Scott; and Pamela Timby-Straitiff, Partner. 

Pictured Left To Right: JERS Director of Finance, Jeff Knapp; Steven Carmina, Partner; Karen Andolina Scott; and Pamela Timby-Straitiff, Partner. 

Journey's End is an immigration legal services program in Buffalo, "Where home beings again." From family reunification to permanent residence services, the team at JERS welcomes refugees without regard to ethnic origin or creed and assists them to become healthy, independent, contributing members of the Buffalo community. They even conduct the only free legal walk-in clinic in the Buffalo area that services refugees, immigrants, and U.S. citizens with their immigration needs and language support in 32 languages! 

We are happy to support their work! 

Sweet Sixteen

Today Carmina Wood Morris (CWM) celebrates our 16th year of designing & restoring Buffalo! We want to sincerely thank our entire team and amazing clients for helping us do what we love for so long! Sixteen truly couldn't be any sweeter. 

A leader in local historic preservation efforts, we have spearheaded the restoration of numerous buildings throughout the city of Buffalo, with several projects currently in progress. We are a full-service firm that also specializes in distinctive residential, adaptive re-use, commercial, health care, corporate, and education designs, with licenses to practice in the states of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and South Carolina. CWM is also LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, and we also create handicapped-accessible structures for numerous projects. 

Our firm had an especially eventful year in 2016, with many celebrations and announcements: 

•    We reached a milestone anniversary, celebrating fifteen years as a firm.

•    CWM promoted Michael R. Bray, AIA to partner!

•    Completed the renovation of the Phoenix Brewery into loft apartments, which was then recognized as Buffalo Spree’s “Best Preservation Project in WNY 2016.”

•    Our work on the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (LAPC) Lofts was featured in a National Trust For Historic Preservation editorial. That project also won “Outstanding Project” in the 2016 Preservation Buffalo Niagara Preservation Awards!

•    Completed the construction of the Salvatore’s new boutique hotel, The Delavan.

•    CWM was honored as a Buffalo Business First “Best Places To Work.”

•    Promoted Paul Lang, AIA to an Associate!

•    Hired four new employees, and two interns.

•    Completed the redevelopment of the Bosche Lofts at 916-918 Main Street, Buffalo.

•    Partner Jon Morris was honored as a Business First C-Level Executive, which recognizes WNY’s most effective business leaders.

•    We completed the renovation of the sixth floor of our office in downtown Buffalo, and began work on the fifth floor reception area.

The principals of CWM: Steven J. Carmina, AIA; R. Christopher Wood, PE; Jonathan H. Morris, AIA; Pamela Timby-Straitiff, CID IIDA; and Michael R. Bray, AIA; credit the success of their firm to the attention to detail, aesthetics, and service given to each project and client. They are a dynamic team collaborating to achieve innovative solutions, grounded in core values, respected in their profession and community. Again, thank you for these sixteen years. Cheers to sixteen more!

Project In Progress: Emerson School

Buffalo Rising released the news today of our partnership with Rocco Termini and Uniland Development proposing a $70 million mixed-use development on Ellicott Street. We look forward to sharing our proposal with the school district! 

January 2017 Newsletter

 
JANUARY 2017 NEWSLETTER

JANUARY 2017 NEWSLETTER

CONSTRUCTION WATCH:

Michigan & Broadway

This $6M, 40,000SF mixed-use project at the southeast corner of Michigan and Broadway is being led by Partner Steve Carmina in partnership with developer Roger Trettel, with RP Oak Hill as construction manager. The buildings at 163-167 Broadway and 64 Nash (circa 1820's and 1880's), will be redeveloped into 18 new apartments and 9,052 SF of commercial space, complete with indoor parking, a restaurant, and 2,000SF donated to a local nonprofit cultural organization, the NAACP. Located in the heart of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor, this is a very important corner; the potential for this building and the surrounding area is quite substantial, with Steve stating "it will be a beacon for people visiting the city to learn about African-American culture, the Underground Railroad, and why the street and city are important." 

 


LET THEM EAT CAKE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DANIELLE JOHNSON & GIONA PAOLERCIO 


CELEBRATE: Surprise Sprinkle for JESSICA MUEHLBAUER and her soon-to-be bundle of joy! Thanks to Hearth+Press for a delicious lunch! 


GRAND OPENING: WELCOME SPOT COFFEE TO KENMORE!

Our work renovating the former George Washington Elementary School at 1 Delaware Road into a mixed-use building is almost complete! In addition to the 21 luxury apartments and daycare center, this building also now has a SPoT Coffee, which celebrated their grand opening on January 6th! We can smell the cappuccino now... 

 


SOCIAL MEDIA: YOU LIKE US, YOU REALLY LIKE US! 

At the end of last year, we reached 400 followers on Facebook! Needless to say, we were ecstatic and can't thank you - our loyal fans - enough! We'd love to hear your thoughts on how we're doing, or any suggestions you have on what you'd like to see more of. Simply email our Marketing Coordinator, Darra, at dkubera@cwm-ae.com