I’d like to share with you a letter that I mailed on this second day of 2020 to our nine City of Buffalo Councilmembers (including the newest legislators, Lovejoy District’s Bryan Bollman, and Fillmore District’s Mitchell Nowakowski – Congratulations gentlemen!).
Among the myriad issues raised in my correspondence is the following nugget regarding Queen City Landing’s efforts to characterize its latest proposal as a 20-story “loft”:
G. Throughout QCL’s 2016/2017 application process, site plan documents consistently and accurately referred to the main structure proposed for the 975/1005 Fuhrmann Blvd. parcel as a “23-STORY TOWER.” Now, curiously, QCL refuses to use the dreaded “T-word” – TOWER when describing its proposed 20-story building. The reasons for the change in nomenclature are obvious, despite the fact that what is being proposed here is unquestionably a tower: First, a tower is a “building type” which is not allowed in the N-1S district. And, most importantly, under the Green Code, the Common Council lacks the power to waive “Building Type” requirements when establishing a PUD. So we have Buchheit’s proposed 20-story tower now masquerading as a 20-story “loft building”.
QCL’s 2019/2020 proposed 20-story tower.
QCL’s 2016/2017 23-story tower
For the record, not even Buffalo News business reporter Jonathan Epstein was fooled by QCL’s less-than-lofty sleight-of-hand, referring a number of times to the newly proposed “tower” in his 11/18/19 article that announced Queen City Landing’s most recent proposal for the site of the former Freezer Queen facility.
You can peruse my letter here, Giacalone Letter to Common Council 01-02-20, and also review the chart accompanying my correspondence where I compare side-by-side QCL’s latest redevelopment plans for 975-1005 Fuhrmann Blvd. with both the 23-story tower plan approved in 2016/2017 and the requirements of Buffalo’s Green Code (officially known as the Uniform Development Ordinance or UDO), Chart Comparing QCL 2017 v. 2019 v. UDO 12-30-19.
Or you can check out the chart, as well as the pages of the January 2, 2020 letter, below:
With All Due Respect,