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April 25, 2006

Lawsuit sends Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal to New York Supreme Court

Lawsuit sends Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal to New York Supreme Court

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Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Buffalo, New York — Attorney Arthur J. Giacalone has filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against the city of Buffalo’s Common Council and Planning board, alleging that the proposed Elmwood Village Hotel was approved “without giving meaningful consideration to either the impact on the adjoining residential neighborhood, or the unique character of this section of Elmwood Avenue.” Giacalone is representing Nancy Pollina and Patricia Morris, who operate the Don Apparel (a vintage clothing and collectibles shop at 1119 Elmwood Avenue), Angeline Genovese and Evelyn Bencinich, owners of residences on Granger Place which abut the rear of the proposed site, Nina Freudenheim, a resident of nearby Penhurst Park, and Sandra Girage, the owner of a two-family residence on Forest Avenue less than a hundred feet from the proposed hotel’s sole entrance and exit driveway.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a 72-room, seven-million-dollar hotel proposed by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. Its construction would require the demolition of at least five buildings, currently at 1109-1121 Elmwood, which house several shops and residents. Although the properties are “under contract,” it is still not known whether Savarino Construction actually owns the buildings. It is believed that Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo mayoral candidate, is still the owner. The hotel is expected to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group.

The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court, is seeking annulment of the City of Buffalo’s rezoning and site plan approvals for the hotel.

“Had the Common Council members complied with State law and waited to receive comments from the County’s planning agency, they would have been obliged to address the County’s concerns regarding the replacement of former residential buildings with ‘a much larger commercial structure’, the health effects of placing a 55-vehicle parking area next to existing homes, and the absence of a traffic study to assess the likelihood that the project would add ‘considerable congestion’ to the Elmwood/Forest intersection,” said Giacalone.

The latest rendering of the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal.

“The four-story hotel will overshadow the neighboring homes and backyards, impacting quality of life and property values. Equally as important, the project will displace a unique and diverse group of businesses that have served nearby college students and Buffalo’s arts and theater community for many years, and replace them with upscale retail establishments that will cater, not to local residents, but to affluent tourists and business travelers,” added Giacalone.

On March 22, 2006 the city’s Common Council approved the rezoning for the proposed hotel and on March 28, the Planning board approved the design and site plan of the hotel.

The lawsuit, entitled Pollina et al. v. Common Council of the City of Buffalo et al., [Index No. I-2006-3885], has been assigned to the Honorable Rose H. Sconiers, and is scheduled for oral argument at 9:30 A.M. on Thursday June 8, 2006.

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March 28, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal gets final approval by city Planning Board

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal gets final approval by city Planning Board

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

This is the latest hotel rendering.

This is the back of the hotel, looking to the northwest.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The proposed Elmwood Village Hotel got the final approval it needed from the city of Buffalo’s Planning Board this morning.

In a unanimous vote, the Board approved most of the design and site plan of the hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

Despite the fact that today’s meeting was not a “public hearing”, several citizens lashed out at the Board after the approval.

“Thanks for destroying Buffalo,” said one man.

“[I am] disgusted. Because they did not allow the community to speak, it is the bastardization of the concepts of justice and democracy, and that’s what happened [today],” said Clarence Carnahan, a local business owner and concerned citizen, to Wikinews. He also referred to some board members as “immoral pigs.”

“[I feel] frustration because no one could speak. I was going to address the displacement of all the shops that are there and that they should be grand-fathered into the new space. We did not get to say that. [I am disappointed] that they are endorsing this enormous monstrosity.” said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood.

Although the Board approved the hotel proposal, Savarino Construction must still go before the board to approve things such as signage and lighting. The Planning Board meets again on April 11, 2006 at 8:00a.m., but it is unknown if the hotel proposal will be on the agenda.

Lawsuits likely to be filed

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood and owner of 605 Forest Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to sue Savarino Construction at a public meeting on March 15, 2006 saying, “if you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one. If you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you.”

Today, Georgiadis confirmed to Wikinews that he is “definitely” suing, but that his “situation is different” as compared to others looking into legal action. “This is my property. They did it [changed the code] without my approval.”

Last week, the Common Council voted and approved the rezoning of all five properties including 605 Forest.

Some are also considering taking the case to the New York State Supreme Court to “seek an injunction” and would go “pro se, meaning I am going to present the case myself,” said Carnahan.

Organizers schedule another protest

Despite the approvals by the Common Council and Planning Board, organizers schedulaed another protest for Saturday April 1, 2006 at 2:00p.m. on the proposed site at Forest and Elmwood.

“We are not going to go down without a fight. We are going to go kicking and screaming,” said Pollina.



Related news

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “Protesters rally for a second time against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, March 26, 2006
  • Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal approved by Common Council” — Wikinews, March 22, 2006
  • “Citizens protest Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, March 20, 2006
  • “Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal threatened by possible lawsuit” — Wikinews, March 16, 2006
  • Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further” — Wikinews, March 10, 2006
  • “No hotel previously on site of proposed Buffalo, N.Y. hotel location” — Wikinews, March 4, 2006
  • “City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, March 2, 2006
  • “Residents and business owners attend “private” meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, February 28, 2006
  • “Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign” — Wikinews, February 27, 2006
  • Alternative to controversial hotel proposed to Buffalo, N.Y. business owners and residents” — Wikinews, February 23, 2006
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 26, 2006

Protesters rally for a second time against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

Protesters rally for a second time against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Recent Developments
Original Story

Russell Smith holds an American flag with the Native American symbol on it during the protest.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Buffalo, New York — For the second weekend in a row, demonstrators protested the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal on the proposed site.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

Citizens protest the hotel proposal.

The proposal also required that all five properties, including 605 Forest, be rezoned to a “C-2” zone, or a “special development plan.” The rezoning was passed by Buffalo’s Common Council on March 21, 2006.

Russell Smith, owner of the Six Nation’s Gift Shop at 1121 Elmwood, also participated in the protest.

“I am a Native American and we opened a Native American gift shop and we are just brand new [and just] opened. Having started out a business for the first time, and it the only Native American shop in the city, and I do not see the use of any hotel, especially at this district. The Elmwood Strip is pretty well established. Some of these people have been here a long while you know and they’re [Savarino Construction] disrupting their livelihood,” said Smith to Wikinews.

When Smith was asked if he was going to be in any of the shops in the new hotel he replied, “we don’t have the option of getting into the hotel or any of the shops that are going to be there. We haven’t [had] any idea that they [Savarino] were even planning to tear these buildings down to put a hotel here until we had moved in. I think thats a little unfair.”

Former City of Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello was asked to sign the petition to stop the hotel when he walked by, but he declined saying, “I respect what you are doing, but I am for the hotel.”

Despite the cold weather, at least 45 people showed up to walk the picket line.

For the moment, no further protests have been scheduled, pending the final decision on the hotel proposal by the city’s Planning Board which meets Tuesday, March 28, 2006. The meeting begins at 8:00am and will be held in room 902 on the 9th floor of City Hall in downtown Buffalo.

Area residents and business owners receive legal advice

On Saturday morning several individuals attended a meeting with a lawyer to see what could be done, if anything, about the proposal and about Hans Mobius, former Buffalo mayoral candidate and owner of the properties to be demolished at 1109-1121 Elmwood.

One of the attendees, Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris, stated that “there is a case” but that she is likely unable to afford the large attorney’s fees. Pollina reports that she is looking into a “legal fund.”

Some of the affected are considering going to the New York State Supreme Court pro se to seek an injunction.

Some tenants of Mobius’s buildings have accused him of being a “slumlord” and claim that he “intentionally neglected” his properties with the intention of selling. Mobius, who has owned the properties for about 20 years, tried in 1995 to sell them to a developer who wanted to build a Walgreens Drugstore on the same site as the proposed hotel.

Mobius is expected to appear in housing Court on April 11, 2006. He has not returned any phone calls from Wikinews.

Additional pictures

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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March 22, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal approved by Common Council

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal approved by Common Council

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

City Hall in Buffalo, New York.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The city’s Common Council met in Council Chambers today with a full agenda. Among the items in the agenda was the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

During the hour-and-a-half meeting, the Common Council approved the hotel proposal. The entire voting process for the proposal took less than two minutes, and the public was not allowed to speak. The Council voted unanimously in support of the proposal; however, the city’s Planning Board must also approve the proposal. The Board will meet on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 8:00 a.m. on the 9th floor of City Hall, room 902.

The approval allows for the rezoning of all five properties, including 605 Forest, to a “special development plan,” or a C-2 zone.

“There is a ‘special development plan’ in front of the council, which changes only one thing about the zoning. It allows one permitted use — for just a hotel. The rest of the zoning remains as it is under the current Elmwood Business District zoning. 605 and 607 Forest are not required for the project. They are not part of the footprint for the project. Let me answer this question again. This is on the record, in council: 605 needs to be rezoned in order to facilitate the project because of the sideyard requirement. Anything in C-2 is excluded besides the hotel. So we’ve taken the C-2 and included the hotel as a permitted use, and excluded everything else, and everything else remains the same,” Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Consrtruction, said to Wikinews during a public meeting on March 16, 2006.

Letter of cease and desist, given to Council today.

However, during the same meeting, Pano Georgiadis, owner of 605 Forest and owner of Pano’s Restaurant on Elmwood, threatened to “sue” Savarino Construction saying, “If you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one.”

Savarino Construction hopes to break ground this Summer.

Residents and business owners will still fight

Despite the Council’s approval, organizers have scheduled another protest that will be held this Saturday, March 25, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. on Forest and Elmwood.

Some citizens are even considering legal action and are considering an “injunction in State Supreme Court,” going “pro se, meaning I am going to present the case myself,” said Clarence Carnahan, a concerned citizen and local business owner who is opposed to the hotel, to Wikinews.

Carnahan wrote a “notice of cease and desist” which was also presented to the Council at today’s meeting.

Patty Morris, co-owner of Don Apparel with Nancy Pollina, said, “We are going to fight the good fight to the bitter end, but we cannot afford it [legal action]. Now it’s a legal matter, and it’s in the hands of the law, and I know there are some people very interested in hiring a lawyer.”

Nancy Pollina says that she is “looking into a defense fund” and is currently talking to lawyers.

Related Wikinews

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “Citizens protest Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, March 20, 2006
  • “Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal threatened by possible lawsuit” — Wikinews, March 16, 2006
  • “Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further” — Wikinews, March 10, 2006
  • “No hotel previously on site of proposed Buffalo, N.Y. hotel location” — Wikinews, March 4, 2006
  • “City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, March 2, 2006
  • “Residents and business owners attend “private” meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, February 28, 2006
  • “Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign” — Wikinews, February 27, 2006
  • Alternative to controversial hotel proposed to Buffalo, N.Y. business owners and residents” — Wikinews, February 23, 2006
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 20, 2006

Citizens protest Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

Citizens protest Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Protesters walk the picket line at the Elmwood Village Hotel protest.

Protesters walk the picket line at the Elmwood Village Hotel protest.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Buffalo, New York — On Saturday March 18, citizens in Buffalo demonstrated to make their voices be heard. The protest mounted by people opposed to the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal took place on the proposed site at Forest and Elmwood Avenues.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a 72-room, seven-million-dollar hotel proposed by Savarino Construction Services Corporation. The hotel would require the demolition of at least five buildings (1109-1121 Elmwood), which house several shops and residents. Karl Frizlen, an architect with Frizlen Group, designed the hotel. Although the properties are “under contract,” it is still unknown if Savarino Construction actually owns the buildings. It is believed that Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo Mayorial candidate, is still the owner. The hotel is expected to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group.

Despite the cold weather, at least 40 people showed up to walk the picket line for 2 two hours.

Protesters walk the picket line at the Elmwood Village Hotel protest.

Clarence Carnahan, a Buffalo resident, supplied signs that citizens could use during the protest. Some of the signs said, ‘No vacancy, No hotel,’ ‘No tell hotel,’ ‘Hans off’ and ‘Our neighborhood, our choice, no hotel.’

“The concern is they are going to tear down established businesses that have been here for years,” said Charles Leist, a protester.

“We’re fighting to the bitter end. We’re hoping that we can squelch this. We don’t think we can, but we’re going down kicking and screaming,” said Patty Morris, co-owner with Nancy Pollina of Don Apparel at 1119 Elmwood. Don Apparel is a vintage clothing and collectible shop and has been at the same location for nearly 14 years.

The city’s Common Council is expected to vote on the proposal on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 2:00 PM in Council Chambers, on 13th floor in City Hall.

The Planning Board is expected to vote on the proposal on Tuesday, March 28, at 8:00 AM in room 902 on the 9th floor of City Hall.

Even if the Common Council approves the proposal, the Planning board will get the final say in the matter.

So far, no other protests are scheduled. Organizers say they will wait until the Common Council votes before organizing any more protests.

Related Wikinews

Sources

Wikinews
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March 16, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal threatened by possible lawsuit

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal threatened by possible lawsuit

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Pano Georgiadis speaks at Monday night’s public community meeting.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The property at 605 Forest in Buffalo was the center of attention at last night’s public meeting held at the offices of Forever Elmwood on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction Services Corporation, confirmed last night that the company will be seeking a variance for the 605 Forest property. Originally, both the 605 and 607 Forest Avenue properties were going to have variances placed on them. As it stands, 607 Forest will not be directly affected by the proposal, should it go forward. Both 605 and 607 are currently occupied by residents.

During Monday night’s meeting, Pano Georgiadis, owner of 605 Forest and owner of Pano’s Resuraunt at 1081 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to “sue” Savarino Construction if they tried to obtain a variance on his property to build the Elmwood Village Hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposal by Savarino Construction that would be placed on the corner of Forest and Elmwood in Buffalo. In order for the project to move forward, at least five buildings (1119-1121 Elmwood) which include both residences and businesses will have to be demolished. The hotel was designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. Although the properties are “under contract,” according to Hassett, it is unclear whether Savarino Construction owns the properties. Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo Mayoral candidate, is still believed to own them.

Currently, none of the properties is zoned for a hotel.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews asked Hassett what kind of zoning permit they [Savarino] would be applying for and, if 605 Forest is included, what zone that would be.

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

“There is a ‘special development plan’ in front of the council, which changes only one thing about the zoning. It allows one permitted use for just a hotel. The rest of the zoning remains as it is under the current Elmwood Business District zoning. 605 and 607 Forest are not required for the project. They are not part of the footprint for the project. Let me answer this question again. This is on the record, in council: 605 needs to be rezoned in order to facilitate the project because of the sideyard requirement. Anything in C-2 is excluded besides the hotel. So we’ve taken the C-2 and included the hotel as a permitted use, and excluded everything else and everything else remains the same.”

However, during the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett was quoted as saying that the two properties were “off the agenda.”

Photo of Pano Georgiadis’s signature, shown at the bottom of the petition, to stop the hotel development.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

“Now Karl said, at the last meeting, that they will build this hotel right on the borderline [property line]. If a wall forty-five to fifty feet high goes next to this house, of course it’s not right. You really have to go with whatever the city code says, so you have to get back as many feet as the city code says,” said Georgiadis.

“If you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one,” added Georgiadis. “First of all I think we are all wasting our time here, you [Savarino], have already made up your mind, but if you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you. If you build a hotel, in my idea its going to fail. It’s doomed, ok. [If] it’s going to be a home for the disabled, for the homeless, for recovery people, but that’s another story. Then how is it going to be when we say, well I told you so? You will be over and done with. Its very hard to take a four story building [hotel] down.”

Georgiadis stated last night that he was against the proposal and signed a petition to stop it, jokingly saying, “this isn’t a paper to sign to build the hotel, is it? Don’t make me sign the wrong thing.”

Joseph Golombeck, district councilman, was at Monday’s public meeting and said, “we also did request this and the reason we are doing this as a special business district is so that it has to be this specific plan. They [Savarino] can’t go halfway through it and in six months decide that [the hotel] it’s going to be three floors. They can’t decide it’s going to be five floors. It has to be, per law, exactly what it is that they brought to us [the public] so far, and then ultimately to the City of Buffalo Common Council when it’s approved. So if it gets approved, it has to be this specific, exact project. They couldn’t make it fifty parking spots, they couldn’t make it thirty. It has to be specifically what they have right here.”

Joseph Golombeck, district councilman in Buffalo, New York, speaking at the meeting.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

A man who lives on Granger Street in Buffalo attended the meeting, speaking in favor of the hotel development. He claimed, “There are a lot of low property values. Hopefully if we embrace development, our property values, for those of us who have property, will go up. There are a lot of people unfortunately, who are working hard, that do not get a chance to come to these meetings. I myself was at work and wasn’t able to go to the last two meetings. I express that we appreciate that you [Savarino] invest in the City of Buffalo and for what you hope, because I do not think Savarino is into losing money. These people are not in business to be losing money here. They are hoping for the success of this [the hotel] more than any one of us. They are hoping that the property values in this area will go up more than any one of us, because it will benefit them [the residents and business owners], more than any one of us. I want this city to develop. I don’t think anybody else is here understanding that we’re looking for development in this city, we are looking for the city to get better. The councilman here is not interested in Buffalo failing.”

Area residents and business owners concerned about property damage

Evelyn Bencinich, resident of Granger Street, would have the hotel directly behind her home, if it were to be built.

“What about construction [time]? Is that just for the exterior, the nine months? Or does that include the interior? Is there going to be blasting through bedrock? Is there property protection for damage? Are you [Savarino and the Frizlen Group] responsible?”, asked Bencinich.

According to Frizlen, there is a layer of solid bedrock at least 30 feet from the surface of the land saying, “we anticipate that the bedrock is at least thirty feet down.” He also admitted that “we haven’t done any soil sporrings,” but did say “the bedrock is somewhere in between twenty-five and thirty feet [down], we don’t need to go that deep. So blasting is most likely out of it [the question].”

“Personally, I can only speak from the city side, but a few years ago we rebuilt Vulcan Street, in the northwest corner of Buffalo, and there were a couple of properties that were damaged and they [the owners] were able to file a claim against the company that did the work and they won in each case. It was the same thing with a school that was built on Military Road. There were a couple of problems with foundations on a couple of properties, and they weren’t sure if caused by the school or not, but the insurance company ended up paying them,” answered Golombeck.

“I would assume that Savarino is insured with someone. So if there is a problem with anything that happens to your properties, what I would recommend is that anybody that lives on Granger Place, if this does go through, that you get pictures taken of your basement and of your foundations, because God forbid if there is a problem, you want to have an[sic] before and after [picture]. You don’t want to come afterwards and there’s a crack in there [foundation] and you have no way of proving that it happened,” added Golombeck.

Mobius in housing court

According to Golombeck, the properties that Mobius owns have been “in housing court on several occasions, but has a date of April 11, 2006 that he is going back [to court] for these properties. So it is in housing court and I wouldn’t know Mr. Mobius if he walked in this room right now,” stated Golombeck.

“I’ve gone after him on numerous occasions and everytime he gets out of housing court with a slap on the wrist. If I am a conspiracy theorist and say that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. I can only get him into housing court. Once he’s in housing court, the judge rules on it. Now I don’t mean to take any shots at previous administrations, but I am hoping with the new administration, being in here, that the inspections department is going to be a much better department than it has been for the previous several years.”

City Planning Board sends proposal back to Common Council

The city’s Planning Board on March 14, 2006, agreed to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal back to the Common Council so that it may “be opened back up to discussion from the public.”

Office of Forever Elmwood Corp.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

On March 2, 2006 the Common Council sent the proposal “to committee” for further discussion and also requesting that the public be “engaged further.”

During that meeting, Justin Azzeralla, Executive Director for Forwever Elmwood, said that the organization “supports the hotel project.”

Also on March 2, the planning board agreed to table, or postpone, any decision on the hotel proposal for at least thirty days, also citing the need for the public to be “more engaged.”

The Common Council is expected to meet on March 21, 2006 at 2:00pm local time where they may approve or deny the proposal.

Majority of Common Council allegedly supports hotel proposal

According to The Buffalo News, at least six Common Council members support the hotel project and are pledging to vote to approve it at the meeting on Tuesday, March 21.

However, the city’s Planning Board will get the final say on the project.



Related news

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
  • Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further” — Wikinews, March 10, 2006
  • “City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, March 2, 2006
  • “Residents and business owners attend “private” meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, February 28, 2006
  • “Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign” — Wikinews, February 27, 2006
  • Alternative to controversial hotel proposed to Buffalo, N.Y. business owners and residents” — Wikinews, February 23, 2006
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Sources

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March 10, 2006

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

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Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

Other properties could be effected

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

Mobius accused of being a slumlord by local residents

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

Mobius may be giving up

Letter to one of the business owners that could be displaced. Click to enlarge.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

These two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood, were newly renovated last year. The building on the left was boarded up for several years before the renovation took place.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

Business owners and residents not against ‘facelift’

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.



Related news

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, March 2, 2006
  • “Residents and business owners attend “private” meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, February 28, 2006
  • “Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign” — Wikinews, February 27, 2006
  • Alternative to controversial hotel proposed to Buffalo, N.Y. business owners and residents” — Wikinews, February 23, 2006
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006
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March 4, 2006

No hotel previously on site of proposed Buffalo, N.Y. hotel location

No hotel previously on site of proposed Buffalo, N.Y. hotel location

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story

The Statler Hotel near the site of the Pan-American Exposition in 1901.

Map of the location of the Statler Hotel near the site of the Pan-American Exposition in 1901.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The Common Council requested on Tuesday that a picture be found on what many thought was the site of a previous hotel.

The Proposed Elmwood Village Hotel would be placed on the intersection of Elmwood and Forest. It was suspected by residents and business owners in the area that hotel once stood in the same spot.

The Elmwood Village hotel is a proposed development by Savarino Construction Services Corp. In order for the project to proceed, at least five buildings (1119-1121 Elmwood) would need to be demolished. All five houses are currently occupied by businesses and residents.

After some research, a freelance journalist writing for Wikinews was able to determine that there was never a hotel on the proposed Elmwood Village Hotel site. However; there was a temporary hotel located on the northeast corner of Elmwood and Forest.

Buffalo was the host of the Pan-American Exposition from May 1 until November 2, 1901. It was a fair designed to feature the latest in technology, including electricity. There was a midway, athletic events, and had African, Eskimo, and Mexican villages. However; what is likely the most famous event that took place at the exposition was the assassination of then President William McKinley on September 6, 1901. He was shot by Leon Czolgosz just outside the Temple of Music and died eight days later while in the home of John Milburn on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Just a short time later, Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated on September 14, 1901 at the Wilcox House on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Nearly eight million people attended the exposition.

During that time several hotels and rooming houses were built around the exposition including The Elmwood at 717 Elmwood, the Hotel Elmhurst at Forest and Lincoln Parkway, Hotel Gibbs 1005-1021 Elmwood, the R. Palmerton Merritt at 441 Forest and The Norman at 422 Forest. None of these hotels or rooming houses exist today.

Probably the most famous hotel that was built during the exposition was the Statler’s Pan-American Hotel built by Ellsworth Milton Statler A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained the only known reproduction photo of the hotel [pictured at the top]. The hotel stood on the northeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, had 2,100 sleeping rooms and accommodations for 5,000. At the time, the Statler was the largest hotel [based on the number of rooms] ever constructed. It was also the largest temporary hotel. It was three stories high, plastered on the inside, made mostly of wood and was covered with ornamental staff on the outside, which made it semi-fireproof. Every room was an outside room and was well lighted and ventilated. It was located within one block of the exposition’s main entrance.

The Statler was built for only one thing, the exposition. Work began in 1900 and finished just before the beginning of the exposition. When the exposition ended in November, the hotel was taken down.

Maps from 1894 show that there was no hotel, let alone any buildings or houses on the intersection. However; research did show that the homes 1119-1121 Elmwood, the buildings that would be demolished to build the Elmwood Village Hotel, were built sometime before 1915 but were not on the intersection prior to 1902.

Based on research conducted at the Buffalo Historical Society, it was concluded that between the years of 1890 and 1902, no other major hotel existed in the area. In fact, research had shown that almost every hotel built in the area, existed only during the time of the exposition.

Research also indicated a hotel or a rooming house at 1089 Elmwood around 1901-1903. The only known name of the hotel was the John C. Hill Hotel. The hotel was in the house now called the Atwater House. The house was the first house to be built on the east side of the block.

Edward Atwater House at 1089 Elmwood in Buffalo, N.Y.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

The Atwater House is currently vacant and owner Pano Georgiadis wants to demolish it to expand his restaurant. The house was built by 1894 and the original owner and builder of the house is currently unknown. Its earliest known occupant was Edward Atwater who in 1862 founded the oil refinery company of Atwater & Hawes in Buffalo. The site of this company was recently uncovered in the Canal District during an archeological dig.

At the moment, current research does not show any connection between the two men.

Statler’s Pan-American Hotel was financially unsuccessful

The exposition was a commercial failure and what profit Statler did make on the hotel, went to build another temporary hotel for the 1904 St. Louis Exhibition. That hotel was successful and the profit made from it was used to build the first permanent Statler Hotel at 107 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. The hotel is no longer in operation, but small offices are currently operating in parts of the building.

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March 2, 2006

City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Image of the Elmwood Village Hotel, redesigned.
Image: Savarino Construction Services Corporation.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Buffalo, New York — In an unanimous vote, the City of Buffalo’s Planning Board voted to table the Elmwood Village hotel Proposal, postponing voting on legislation for up to 30 days.

The Board said its decision was due to the lack of public involvement, saying that there have not been enough meetings.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed project by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and was designed by Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five buildings, that include both businesses and residents, must be demolished.

The Forever Elmwood Corp. is a Buffalo-based non-profit organization founded in 1994. Justin Azzarella, the Executive Director for the organization voiced support for the proposal, stating: “I am here today to lend Forever Elmwood’s support the hotel project. Particularly, Forever Elmwood is encouraged by the fact that this building follows the more stringent Elmwood Village Design Guidelines. We have been speaking with Savarino Construction, and they have promised us [Forever Elmwood] that they will engage the community further, including the surrounding Block Clubs and businesses. For that reason, while Forever Elmwood is in support of this project and the type of project that it is, we are asking also that the project be tabled so that the community can be further engaged. Specifically the surrounding Block clubs which include the Granger, Claremont, Asland and The Lincoln Parkway Block Clubs.”

“Because of the excellent work that Karl does and the game plan that they have, I think its an ideal use of this particular location. I think that this particular type of development needs to be encouraged and promoted as opposed to roadblocked,” said a man who owns five properties near the proposal site.

However, Evelyn Bencinich, a resident of Granger Place and whose house would be located directly behind the hotel said, “My property value will be depreciated or non-existent because no one is going to want to live behind a multi-story hotel. We are facing up to a year of noisy and dangerous demolition and construction. Children, pets and even drunk rebellers could wander on site and get hurt. Traffic tie-ups caused by large machinery and garbage bins is inevitable. Where will pedestrians walk? We could experience increased unsanitary flooding in our yards and basements due to the digging and cementing for the underground parking garage. Rats will be displaced into the immediate neighborhoods and be in great abundance. Once we get past the year of nightmare construction, what if you build it and they don’t come? We could ultimately have a seven million dollar rooming house on our corner.”

Patty Morris, co-owner of Don Apparel with Nancy Pollina at 1119 Elmwood also asked that the project be tabled saying, “this has only been public knowledge for less than two weeks and the public never saw the redesign. How can you vote on anything that no one has seen yet? The Board cut off Morris saying, “so specifically you don’t have any problem with it [the design] you just…” Morris then said, “Oh I am totally against this project, but thats besides the point isn’t it.”

Planning board wants hotel smaller

The planning board is also concerned that the current design may still be too big.

At one point Board member Susan Curran Hoyt said, “we know you’ve cut down your number of rooms on this project, but we still see it doesn’t seem to fit the description of a ‘botique’ hotel,” and asked Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction, “we wonder if you could reduce the rooms further.”

“One thing I didn’t talk about was the price levels of these rooms and that will be important to know. The room rate will be somewhere between US$120 and $160 a night, which is about the same price of the Hampton Inn down town and the smaller you make the hotel, the more expensive the rooms will get. We believe that we’ve made a good compromise in terms of the size of the hotel and perhaps botique means different things to different people,” said Hassett.

The board was also concerned that there is not enough parking asking, “are there alternative plans for valet parking off-site, in the event that you have a full hotel or a large event going on?”

“We are exploring several possibilities with respect to additional parking for valet and parking near-by,” replied Hassett. “We are also exploring the possibility of using the rear of 1105 Elmwood for additional parking, which would give us an additional ten or eleven spaces.”

The new design has a total of 55 parking spaces for 72 rooms, with 39 of them underground and the rest on ground level.

Although this is the old proposal, the new design will still be the same amount of distance from the property.
Image: Savarino Construction Services Corporation.

Hassett also said that a “parking study” will be done on the area.

Concerns that the second floor of the hotel will be too close to the property of 605 Forest were also brought up. The board asked how far the hotel would be from the property and Karl Frizlen replied saying it would “be approximately five feet from the property line,” but he also admitted that, “I do not know exactly how close the house next door” will be from the hotel, but did say “I think the house is about four or five feet away from the property line and we [the hotel] sit right on the property line.”

The board is concerned the setback from the property is not enough saying the space between the building and the hotel is “pretty narrow.”

Common Council also tables hotel proposal

The City’s Common Council also agreed to table the proposal also citing the need for more public engagement and the need for more organizations to respond including the Buffalo Preservation Board and the Office of Historic Preservation.

During that meeting, Hassett also said the proposal to try and get a variance to obtain the properties of 605 and 607 Forest were “now off the agenda.”

The Common Council is expected to meet and hold a public hearing about the project and the rezoning of the properties to be demolished (1119-1121 Elmwood) on Tuesday March 7, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. At the moment the properties are not zoned for a hotel.

Related news

  • “Residents and business owners attend “private” meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, February 28, 2006
  • “Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign” — Wikinews, February 27, 2006
  • Alternative to controversial hotel proposed to Buffalo, N.Y. business owners and residents” — Wikinews, February 23, 2006
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

External Links

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February 28, 2006

Residents and business owners attend \”private\” meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

Residents and business owners attend “private” meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Recent Developments
Original Story

Residents, business owners and developers attended a low profile, “private” neighborhood meeting about the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal and redesign in Buffalo, New York last night. At least 50 people from the Penhurst block, the Claremont block, the Granger block and various other locations attended. A representative from Forever Elmwood was also at the meeting. Joel Golombeck, City Councilman for the Elmwood area, was also among the attendees.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a seven million dollar proposal by Savarino Construction Services Corp. The hotel would be built on the intersection of Elmwood and Forest Aves. in Buffalo. In order for the hotel to be built, the demolition of at least five currently occupied buildings will be required.

Computer generated redesign of the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal.
Image: Savarino Companies.

Golombeck found out about the proposal just three weeks ago when Sam Savarino of Savarino Construction Services Corp. called Golombeck.

Golombeck said that he was asked, by the City of Buffalo to “approve” the proposal “tomorrow”, (February 28, 2006). When asked to do so Golombeck replied, “That is just not possible. I did not realize how fast tracked this plan was. My first question to Savarino was, did you talk to the neighborhood?”

Golombeck also stated that he would not approve or deny the proposal until a reasonable amount of time was given to the community to make a judgment on the new design.

Golombeck also stated that the City of Buffalo wanted Savarino to obtain both 605 Forest and 607 Forest for the proposal, but, according to Golombeck, Savarino “does not want to do that.” In order for the two buildings to be included in the development, Savarino will have to apply for a C-2 zoning permit. It is unknown if an attempt will be made to obtain those properties or make the zoning changes.

Wendy Pierce of Forever Elmwood stated that she had found out about the proposal only “two weeks ago from today.” She also stated that the original design “felt too massive.” Pierce also stated that she wanted to “speak more with the block clubs and residents” around the area.

Ms. pierce also stated that “other options” for parking will be looked into “if possible.”

The new design will have less retail space and now has at lease three conference rooms. Parking has been increased to a total of fifty-five spaces, both underground and above.

Rocco Termini, a Buffalo developer also attended the meeting still stating that the hotel would “destroy Elmwood’s urban streetscape.” Mr. Termini has proposed a second development that would not include a hotel, but increase retail shops to at least seven.

The City of Buffalo Planning Board is still scheduled to meet at 8:00a.m Tuesday. The Common Council is still expected to meet at 2:00p.m. on the same day.

Joel Golombeck is expected to attend both meetings.

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