Three Proposals Make a Cut for the Mohawk Ramp Site – Buffalo Rising

The City of Buffalo has reduced the number of redevelopment proposals for the Mohawk Ramp site from six to three. According to a selection committee, the three proposals that best met the evaluation criteria were:

  • BFC Partners and CB Emmanuel Realty
  • Douglas Development
  • SAA EVI, McGuire Development and Passero Associates

The following were excluded from the review:

  • Gold Wynn and Colby Development
  • Savarino and 34 Group
  • Development of Uniland

The 629-space parking ramp, built in 1959, occupies a 1.1 acre site along Mohawk Street between Ellicott Street and Washington Street.

The finalists:

BFC Partners and CB Emmanuel Realty

Components:

  • 203 affordable units
  • 23,113 sq.ft. commercial space
  • Mix of restaurant, fitness center, flagship store or coworking space
  • 285 parking spaces
  • Mohawk Street Visual Activation
  • Long-term parking for GO bikes
  • Partnership with GO Buffalo Niagara / Go Bike Buffalo

Douglas Development

Components:

  • 600 residential units in total on several sites
  • 200 new apartments and 300 new parking spaces above the existing parking lot, 10% of which are dedicated to affordable housing
  • 1,500 sq.ft. cafe along Mohawk Street
  • 1,500 sq.ft. R&D lab on the ground floor that will cover the future of mobility in Buffalo
  • 1,500 sq.ft. ground detail along Washington Street
  • More than 800 parking spaces in total on the site
  • Redevelopment and adaptive reuse of Simon properties near the Mohawk ramp site offering 400 new apartments including 10% dedicated to affordable housing and additional retail businesses on the ground floor

SAA EVI, McGuire Development and Passero Associates

Components:

  • 233 apartments; 168 will be subject to income restrictions
  • Existing parking structure removed
  • 268 new parking spaces on three levels
  • 6,500 sq.ft. shop on the ground floor
  • Mohawk Commons Incubation Hub will focus on M / WBE start-ups
  • 2,300 sq.ft. 13th floor restaurant
  • The mobility lane along the northern boundary of the property creates an east-west mobility backbone to promote foot traffic on the site
  • Courtyard located in the center of the building

The criteria for evaluating the proposal include:

A. Quality of the plan

  • Must integrate transportation and justify usage choices that reflect a strong demand for access to downtown public transit and downtown life
  • Preference for proposals that integrate housing, including affordable housing
  • Diversity and inclusion must be mainstreamed and must demonstrate a plan for meaningful participation of certified MWBEs, workforce participation or sheltered mentoring opportunities at all levels of the project (funding, management, design and construction

B. Experience and qualifications

  • Experience working and partnering with communities, neighbors and business stakeholders
  • Neighborhood economic development and job creation
  • Diversity within the development team

C. Financial considerations

  • Complete budget, sources and uses and a reasonable development budget
  • Financial feasibility based on reasonable development and operating proforma
  • Demonstrated financial capacity to carry out the project

D. Competitive preferences

  • Preference given to mixed-use developments that integrate affordable housing
  • Proposals that consider creative and cost-effective solutions for structured parking transport hubs will be favorable
  • Submissions with strong community engagement plans that meet or exceed MWBE targets will be more favorable
  • Submissions that consider a street level activation and increase urban dynamism while facilitating a pedestrian and cyclist friendly streetscape will be more favorable
  • Submissions that consider the overall improvement of the public domain will be more favorable

Buffalo on the rise

Sometimes the writers of Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts to cover various events and stories. These posts cannot be attributed to a single author, as this is a combined effort. Often times, the creation of an article is initiated by a writer and passed on to one or more writers before it is completed. Sometimes there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply presented as the creator of the article. In both cases, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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