Monday, February 27, 2006
Buffalo, New York —Wikinews was the first to tell you that the Elmwood Village Hotel development in Buffalo, New York was to undergo “significant changes”.
The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed project that would be placed at Elmwood and Forest Aves. in Buffalo. In order for the development to take place, at least five buildings that house both businesses and residents, must be demolished.
To confirm and to get more information about the changes, Wikinews interviewed Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction Services Corporation, the development company in charge of building the hotel.
Wikinews: The hotel proposal is being redesigned. Could you comment on that? What changes are being made? Are they significant?
Eva Hassett: The hotel has been resized as a 72-room, four story building. This is 10% smaller in number of rooms and a full story lower. We are also redesigning the facades in a way that will minimize the mass – more of a vertical feeling than horizontal. Different materials, windows, details. The smaller size of the hotel also makes the number of on-site parking spaces more appropriate and hopefully represents less of a challenge to an already difficult parking situation.
WN: Will you still be going before the city’s planning board as scheduled on February 28? Same for the Common Council?
Hassett: We will be on the Planning Board agenda this Tuesday morning but I do not expect that the Board will vote on the item that morning. I think we will be mainly explaining the new design and hearing input/questions.
WN: Will there be anymore public meetings?
Hassett: We would be happy to do one more big public meeting. We will be talking to Forever Elmwood about that on Monday (February 27, 2006). We would like to see if there is support for the new design and we also want to honor the public’s request for another meeting. I am hopeful that meeting can take place the week of March 6th.
WN: Is Savarino considering Mr. Rocco Termini’s design/proposal? If no, do you (Savarino) support/oppose?
Hassett: We are hopeful that we can build the hotel as redesigned. We think it would be a great addition to the Elmwood Ave. area, a good way for out-of-towners to see what Buffalo offers and a big help to the businesses there.
WN: Are you considering more time for the community to make a judgment?
Hassett: As I mentioned above, we expect to have one more meeting to get public reaction to the new design, and I think the Planning Board may want an additional meeting to make their determination. We do however, have constraints that will limit the amount of extra time. We still think it is a great project for the City and Elmwood; and we still want it to be something that the community wants as well.
So far, the City of Buffalo’s City Planning Board is still scheduled to meet at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern) on February 28, 2006 followed by the Common Council meeting at 2:00 p.m. on the same day.
Images of the design are not yet available. “We are working on the renderings this weekend, but I will likely have some early in the week,” stated Hassett.