Built in downtown Buffalo on the Eastern edge of its urban core, 201 Ellicott replaces a former parking lot with dynamic mixed-use affordable housing and a fresh food grocery. Purposely designed as a “mobility hub,” the space encourages people to walk, bike, take public transit, carshare or any other form of eco-friendly transportation.
Justin Booth, executive director of GObike Buffalo tells Next City, “we’ve been able to develop a plan and put a strategy in place that could demonstrate a 40% reduction in the total number of car trips for this new building. That includes establishing downtown’s first true mobility hub, which is almost complete.”
The rejuvenation of 201 Ellicott in such a manner became possible after the City of Buffalo made a major zoning change that eliminated minimum parking requirements for new developments.
Our team then guided extensive community engagement, design development and more to envision this vital project for the city. The project embraces the mobility hub with expanded sidewalks that are more pedestrian friendly, a “pull up zone” for ride hailing services, long-term bicycle parking, a bicycle repair station and more.
“We know this can work in many other places and it can work in Buffalo, Denise Juron-Borgese, vice president of development and planning for Ciminelli Real Estate says in the article. “We are really excited that this can become a model not only for Buffalo and the wider western New York region, but more broadly (across the country).”
The trifecta of a mobility hub, fresh food market and affordable housing are each needed assets in the City of Buffalo. The design integrates these resources into the community and should echo positive impacts immediately and for future generations. 201 Ellicott also brings public art to Buffalo’s downtown thanks to a stunning mural painted by Josef Kristo this summer.
“201 Ellicott is a stunning achievement for the City of Buffalo and so many individuals and organizations deserve credit and thanks for this transformational project,” said Michael Tunkey, our Principal in Charge of the project. “To create a space that blends access to fresh food, public art, affordable housing, future-focused mobility – it’s an amazing example of equity, access and inclusion in design.”
Images from top to bottom are credited to James Lai (1); Jeffrey Maciejewski for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2); and Josef Kristo (3).