The Erie Canal Port Development Corporation (ECHDC) found a developer for Canalside’s Ode Block. Brooklyn-based Penrose New York Developer LLC teamed up with GSD Urban Solutions and the Westminster Economic Development Initiative to beat out two of his other proposals for the two-acre site. A mix of market priced and affordable apartments is proposed, with two floors of underground parking and commercial and retail space.
Work on the $160 million multi-building project will begin in early 2025 and is expected to be completed in two years. The plan calls for 367 homes, half of which will be limited to affordability. Buildings along the canal are 4-5 storeys high, with 10-14 storeys north along Niagara Thruway I-190.
Penrose has expertise in developing highly complex, mixed-use, environmentally conscious and sustainable luxury residential properties with over 27,000 rental homes and a total development cost of $5 billion. Additionally, Mr. Penrose is focused on building affordable housing and is currently working with the Buffalo City Housing Department on a revitalization effort for Brigadier General Perry less than a mile from the site. These developments meet a myriad of nuanced requirements driven by a tiered residential and commercial program of apartments, offices, theaters, cultural facilities, parking lots and more.
ECHDC published a request for proposals for the location last May, with a September 1 deadline for submissions. According to the RFP document, the development of multiple buildings will be set within the reconstructed historic street pattern, allowing Lloyd Street and Commercial Street to continue on the site. Public access to the grounds continues across the bridge from Main Street, Pearl Street and Lower Terrace. The rebuilt roads will be pedestrian-only and will be open to emergency vehicles in some areas. Vehicle access to the underground car park will be along the Lower Terrace. ECHDC is willing to offer his $10 million to developers for capital construction costs related to historic road sites, public walkways and canal lighting.
The ECHDC Board today voted to designate Penrose as the site’s preferred developer and to begin negotiations on a sales and development agreement.