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. 


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

79 Perry St

Historic Preservation Month: Redevelopment


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


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





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."

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!

Newsletter .19

HOLIDAY 2016 Newsletter

HOLIDAY 2016 Newsletter

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: Lofts at University Heights

We joined CB Emmanuel Realty to celebrate the groundbreaking of the transformation of the former Buffalo Public School 63 into the Lofts at University Heights!


We brought the Buffalo Silo's to life at a local Tops Friendly Markets at the annual CANstruction event! All of the non-perishable food used in the display (10,000 cans!) gets donated to the Food Bank of WNY!

OUR FACES: Meet The CWM Team


Favorite place to visit: The Ocean

What do you consider your hidden talent? Party Dancing

Who is your hero or person of influence? Oprah

How do you overcome challenges at work? I google it or ask for help

NOW OPEN: Seneca One Stop

We're so excited to announce the Seneca One Stop in Niagara Falls is now open! Thanks to project manager Wendy Ferrie, RA for all her hard work! 

GIVE BACK: City Of Light

Each holiday season, members of B Team Buffalo organize a grassroots event called City Of Light. The goal of the initiative is to decorate a neighborhood in the city so that it shines for the holidays. A few of our team members went and volunteered their time, decorating the streets near the Buffalo Central Terminal and adding a sparkling touch to houses in the neighborhood!


We're proudly partnering with The Kissling Interests, LLC to renovate the 11-story structure at 298 Main Street into a mix of office space on the six lower floors and twenty-six apartments on the five upper floors. Happy to welcome tenant Campus Labs to this great space in downtown Buffalo!

LET THEM EAT CAKE (or cookies)

Happy Birthday to Wendy Ferrie and Joe Palumbo! 


Our interiors department did an amazing job recreating Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water House out of gingerbread for the Millington Lockwood competition!! Make sure you check out our Facebook for even more photos and videos!! 


Happy Holidays from the entire Carmina Wood Morris team! We decided to forgo our annual bowling party and instead created a murder-mystery event for our entire staff to enjoy. Some of our staff seriouslyyyyyy got into character, which certainly created an afternoon of laughter! 

Newsletter .18

October Newsletter 2016: LAPC Lofts Interior

October Newsletter 2016: LAPC Lofts Interior

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: Highland Park Apartments

In August, we featured our HCR funded project for People Inc., the Highland Park school conversion. Now, we have even more progress shots for you as this circa 1952 building transforms from an abandoned school into 38 apartments!


This month, we celebrated Jon Morris's hard work as he was honored as a Buffalo Business First C-Level Executive! Jon has been a vital part of our firm for over 12 years and we are so proud of all his accomplishments! 

OUR FACES: Meet the CWM Team

Adam Hanley | Engineering

Hobbies: Golf in the Summer, Hockey in the Winter

What do you listen to at your desk? WGR 550 Sports Radio

Favorite thing about Buffalo? Going to Sabres games

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Carrie Underwood

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: 1225 Niagara Street

Adding to the momentum behind Niagara Street's revitalization, we're partnering with Bill Breeser on the renovation of 1225 Niagara Street!

CELEBRATE: PBN Awards Ceremony

We announced last month that our work on the LAPC Lofts in the Elmwood Village was recognized as an "Outstanding Project" by the Preservation Buffalo Niagara, but this month we officially got to celebrate! Here's a snapshot of the award ceremony!

LET THEM EAT CAKE (or cookies)

Happy Birthday to Associate Paul Lang! 



It was requested to be noted that on October 4th at 1:14pm, Mike Bray said Joe Dorobiala was "absolutely right." And then we turned Mike Bray into a dog... his favorite. (ha-ha).


Happy National Boss's Day to the best bunch of bosses we know!!

We Need Your Votes!

The Preservation Buffalo Niagara selection committee is hard at work selecting the winners of the 2016 Preservation Awards, but they're looking for YOUR favorite Outstanding Project! PLEASE VOTE by September 1 for either of our projects that are nominated: the Tishman Building at 10 Lafayette OR the Lafayette Lofts in Elmwood Village! Help us showcase these amazing projects!!

Vote here!

^10 Lafayette, The Tishman Building

LAPC Lofts

Newsletter .16



PROJECT IN PROGRESS: Elmwood Forest Gateway

Our team has been working tirelessly on this new development in the Elmwood Village. Our approach to this 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.

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: Hyatt Place at 310 Rainbow Boulevard

From rendering to real life - the Hyatt Place at 310 Rainbow Boulevard in Niagara Falls has had its ground breaking ceremony and is now under construction! 

OUR FACES: Meet The CWM Team!

Jessica Muehlbauer, Interiors

Favorite Hobby: Gardening & Kayaking

Who is your hero or person of influence? Bobby Kennedy

What do you listen to at your desk? Indie

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Jon Stewart


Progress on the corner of Genesee Street continues as paint was removed from the facade of 9 Gen., finishing up the renovation of the circa-1845 structure!


Happy Birthday to Bob Kroon [Financial Director], Joe Dorobiala [Architecture], Shari Servillon [Architecture], and Lee Schlatterer [Senior Designer, Interiors]!

COMING SOON: Restaurant To Join Crescendo Lofts

Work on 1502 Niagara continues, with plans for a 5,000SF restaurant owned and operated by Chef Martin Danilowicz, dubbed "Roost" to open by September! Formerly the Bison Storage Building box factory, 1502 Niagara Street is being developed into 41 one and two bedroom loft apartments known as 'The Crescendo'.

NOW LEASING: The Phoenix Brewery

Don't miss out on your chance to be a part of Downtown Buffalo's resurgence! The Phoenix Brewery Lofts are now leasing; schedule a tour to appreciate this new standard in adaptive reuse, with solid surface flooring, exposed bricks, and historic details!


Thanks again for taking a moment to catch up with all things CWM! We hope you learned something new and can go out and spread the BUFFALOVE!

Newsletter .15




The Carmina Wood Morris team is excited to announce the grand opening of the redeveloped Bosche Building at 916-918 Main Street! The four-story, 33,000SF buildings circ. 1891 are now home to 23 market-rate apartments, with retail space on the first floor. All tenants have access to a shared rooftop patio space, overlooking the downtown Buffalo skyline. After more than seven years of planning and work to save this pair of long vacant buildings, we are thrilled to see this labor of love now open!

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: Kenmore Teacher's Federal Credit Union

From rendering to real life, the Kenmore Teacher's FCU is a renovation of a 48,000SF site on Sheridan Drive into new workstations, banking lobby space, private offices, conference facilities, break-room, and drive-through operations. 

OUR FACES: Meet the CWM Team!

Patrick Sheedy, Engineering

Favorite thing about Buffalo? The food.

Favorite Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Arnold Palmer


Help us reach 200 followers on Instagram! Find our fabulous photos here!


The Carmina Wood Morris family is excited to join Ellicott Development in redeveloping the George Washington School at 1 Delaware Road into a mixed-use building of 21 luxury apartments, a day care center, commercial and retail space, and a SPoT Coffee!


Happy Birthday to Partners Pam Timby-Straitiff and Mike Bray! 

AROUND TOWN: Hotel Lafayette Exhibit

From the beginning of June until October 9th, head over to the Buffalo History Museum for a special event focusing on the Hotel at Lafayette transformation! Images on display from Jackie Albarella "poignantly capture the restoration of downtown Buffalo's opulent Hotel Lafayette," according to the event website. You don't want to miss it! 


Buffalo Spree's "Best of WNY 2016" recognized the Phoenix Brewery Lofts with an award for "Best Preservation Project"! The adaptive re-use project should begin leasing top-line apartments this summer.