Savarino Companies is making yet another change to its planned project at 1 Howell St., this time because its previous proposal for a vehicle turnaround for buses and fire trucks on the dead-end street isn’t workable after all.
The Buffalo developer is proposing to redevelop a derelict and fire-damaged former industrial property on the banks of Scajaquada Creek by demolishing the two-story structure at 1 Howell and replacing it with a four-story apartment building.
Plans by Elev8 Architecture call for a 60,535-square-foot building, with 66 apartments on four floors, above a level of 43 semi-submerged parking spaces. The $15 million project would feature 55 one-bedroom units and 11 two-bedroom apartments, with an extra 11 surface parking spaces.
Savarino addressed criticism from the neighborhood about a lack of parking by agreeing to buy a vacant city-owned lot across the street at 18 Howell, providing extra space for another 33 parking spaces – seven of which would be designated for neighborhood residents and visitors. That gives the project 87 spaces in all. And the extra half-acre of land would also feature a new public pocket park with benches and a Reddy Bikeshare hub.
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Plans had also included a new “T”-shaped turnaround at the foot of Howell, to make it easier for emergency vehicles, school buses, snowplows and residents to move around on the street and exit.
But Savarino now says that won’t work, based on feedback from the city’s Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. The proposed turnaround would “encroach on the city’s park system and interfere with the potential location of future park improvements,” according to a letter to the city from project attorney Sean Hopkins. The Jesse Kregal Pathway biking and hiking trail borders the site.
Instead, Savarino is now suggesting that the two driveway connections to 1 Howell and 18 Howell – across from each other – can serve as large vehicle turnarounds.
The revisions to the project will be reviewed by the Buffalo Planning Board on Monday, along with the proposed redevelopment of the Salvation Army campus at 954 Main St.
The panel will also review special-use permit applications for:
• AT&T Wireless to install new antennas and other cellular telecommunications equipment at 339, 343 and 345 Rhode Island Avenue.
• Hook & Ladder Development for a tavern and outdoor dining, to reopen a restaurant at 2115 Seneca St. under the name The Tillerman, with capacity for 98 people inside and 50 outside
• Samuel Martina for tobacco, hookah and vaping sales at Palm Trees in Buff at 1353 Hertel Ave.