AP Lofts in Larkinville to Break Ground

There's beauty in community history, and we're honored to be a part of the team that's re-imagining and redesigning Larkinville one brick at a time! To celebrate the construction of the new AP Lofts at 545 Swan Street, there will be a groundbreaking ceremony on September 6th. 

The AP Lofts is a mixed-use historic adaptive re-use project, delivering modern loft style apartments at the site of the former Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company warehouse that was built in 1910. 

Partnering with KCG Development and RP Oak Hill Development, we're creating 147 apartments with two stories of interior mezzanine parking within the existing envelope of this historic property. 

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AP Lofts in Larkinville

Project Groundbreaking September 2017

Project Groundbreaking

On August 3 2017, Michigan Broadway LLC along with State and local officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nash Lofts Project at the corner of Michigan and Broadway in the city of Buffalo. 

Plans include turning this trio of buildings along the so-called Dallenbach Block into a mixed-use development anchored by 18 apartments, a restaurant, and office space for the local NAACP.

In case you missed it, read up on thoughts and best wishes from the attendees courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo here

Architect Preserving Buffalo

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Business First.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Business First.

This weekend, our own Paul Lang, AIA LEED AP BD+C, was featured in Buffalo Business First! Thanks for recognizing and appreciating the talents of Paul Lang as much as we do! This is a great read about an even greater architect, and we couldn't be prouder to have him on our team. Read the full article here.

Cobblestone District Plans Continue

We're thrilled to be partnering with Pegula Sports and Entertainment, McGuire Development, and Labatt USA to bring the redevelopment of 79 Perry Street Hi-Temp building to life in Buffalo's Cobblestone District! This circa 1920 building previously served as a warehouse for the Flickinger Co., a local supermarket operator. Plans call for Labatt USA's corporate headquarters and restaurant/brewery on the first two floors, corporate offices for the third and fourth floors, and apartments for the sixth floor. We are seeking state and federal historic tax credits to help finance the project. This project serves as a major key development bridge between Canalside and Cobblestone Districts! Buffalo Business First details here

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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.

CWM Wins 6th NYS Preservation Award

Phoenix Brewery Apartments Wins NYS Preservation Award

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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.

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! 

If TV Characters Were Architects

It's January in Buffalo, which means most of us take the rare gift of a snow-day and use that time to binge watch a show or movie on Netflix. I'm personally guilty of a binge-session or two, but watching this myriad of shows got me thinking- some of our favorite TV characters would make great architects!

Take Sherlock Holmes (from the show Sherlock, a series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories) for example. Sherlock's exceptional intellect and remarkable powers of observation would enable him to create architectural masterpieces that transcend conventional design techniques. 

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Another character that would make an interesting architect is Dr. Derek Shepherd, from Grey's Anatomy. Not only did he design his own house on the show, but think of all the intricite architectural creations he could come up with using his immense knowledge of the inner workings of the human brain! 

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Call me crazy, but I could even see Spongebob Squarepants making a name for himself in the architecture world! I mean who wouldn't want to live in a pineapple under the sea?!

 
 

Don't think we've forgotten about our female characters! Imagine if Leslie Knope from Parks And Recreation were an architect! Her determination and spunk alone would serve her well in the design world. Her desire to pursue a life of public service could certainly be served in the architecture field, perhaps in the historic preservation sector?! If all else fails I'm certain she'd design an excellent waffle house. 

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What if you could take one of YOUR favorite television characters and make them an architect? Who would you choose? Let us know in the comments below! 

Recreating The Falling Water House

Our interiors department did an amazing job recreating Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water house out of gingerbread for the Millington Lockwood competition!! 

Project In Progress: Elmwood Forest Gateway

Our approach to this $30M project is to make it look to the pedestrian like a three-story building, and not a five-story building, by setting the top two floors back from the street and incorporating quality materials, classic architectural detailing, sufficient parking, green space, and environmental sustainability. The current plan is to create 57 high-end townhouse condominiums with ground-floor retail and parking hidden from view on the southeast block of Elmwood Ave, south of Forest Ave. 

From The Buffalo News: "'The intent of this project is to bring people and vibrancy to an area of my neighborhood that has been sorely lacking for some time,' said Steven J. Ricca, a land use attorney at Bond Schoeneck & King, who represents Chason and also lives in the Elmwood Village. 'We're here to meet a demand that is undeniable.'"

Watch this video to hear why the Elmwood Village needs this project! 

Shop Small, Shop Local

Shop Small, Shop Local, & Shop Downtown!

By shopping and eating locally you show your support of the Downtown Buffalo Small Business Community and directly contribute to their success. The wide array of restaurants and retail venues offer something for everyone this holiday season! 

All of the shops and restaurants are listed in the Buffalo Place guide book and can be found at their website here

The fun downtown doesn't end there! Special Holiday Events include:

-Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26th from Noon-4pm

-Main Street Blitz, Nov. 28th - Dec. 2nd. Keeping the Shop Local momentum going, the downtown retailers are offering a variety of holiday shopping specials!

-Pre-Tree Lighting Activities, Dec. 3rd from 10am-5pm. Come down before the Tree Lighting and make a day of it! Many shops downtown will have special activities and sales to get you in the holiday spirit!

-Tree Lighting Celebration at Fountain Plaza, Dec 3rd from 5pm-8pm. Kick off the holiday season with Buffalo Place at this family friendly and free to the public event.