Michael Tunkey, out Principal in charge of the project, spoke to Architect’s Newspaper on this breakthrough project that will make a lasting impact in downtown Buffalo.
“Before, this area was one of the many, many surface parking lots stretching across a swath of downtown Buffalo’s eastern edge,” said Tunkey. Now, the area highlights a large-scale, two-wall kaleidoscopic mural created by Texas-based Josef Kristofoletti.
Part of the revitalization effort was to bring life and vibrancy back to the area. Michael Tunkey told AN the goal was to build something that would blast color to a former brownfield site.
As mentioned in the article, it wasn’t just about bringing affordable housing. It was also a joint effort with the city of Buffalo to create a mobility hub. The structure and landscape is meant to discourage solo car trips by offering residents multiple transport options such as utilizing the bikeshare kiosk, being walkable distance to a covered bus stop, and close proximity to the subway station.
“This was the perfect transit-oriented development site, “said Tunkey to AN. “The mobility hub is both a physical place and it’s a set of programs. It’s really meant primarily for the residents of the housing but it’s also a community component.”
One of Tunkey’s proudest accomplishments to 201 Ellicott is adjacent to the apartment building- Braymiller Market, designed by CannonDesign.
“If you go in there, the employees look like that community because they are from that community,” said Tunkey. “It’s so different from a typical chain. You feel like you’re at a farm stand, really.”
Tunkey said this project relies on “the most detailed community engagement plan” he’s ever been involved with.