BY: Brett DeNeve
See the original article at Buffalo Rising
Delaware/Virginia Project Nearly Complete, Just Three Units Remain
With its minimalistic design and earthly Boston Valley Terra Cotta tones blending the building into the landscape, Scott Croce’s multi-use complex on the corner of Delaware Avenue and Virginia Street is nearing completion. Along Delaware Avenue, the building will have financial institutions on the first floor, medical offices on the second floor, and Croce’s chiropractic practice on the third and final floor, for which they are currently constructing the reception area. Due to current competition between a few different parties for first floor occupation, Croce politely declined to be more specific than “financial institutions.”
Aside from the professional ventures set to face Delaware Avenue, this facility also offers apartments. Totaling nine, they look out to Virginia Street. There are four double bedrooms and five single bedrooms, each equipped with stainless steel appliances, front-loading washers and dryers, and a balcony hung off the back side of the building where parking and a historic brick carriage house are located.
The one-bedroom units are 800 square feet and the two-bedroom units are 1,100 square feet. The two-bedroom apartments are located on the top floor with a spiral staircase leading up to the mezzanine floor’s master bedroom.
Parking spaces have physical coverage minus a few; there are also three private garages accessible from Virginia Street by request for a separate fee. There are also three separate apartments located in the renovated carriage house; a one-bedroom and two two-bedroom units. According to Croce, these should be fully functioning by mid-December.
The carriage house, among other things, is most noted for its being attached to a residence of Mark Twain from 1870 to 1871. Many say the house had burned straight to the ground in 1963, making way for James D. DiLapo, Jr.’s “The Cloister.” Although his restaurant did in fact launch around this time, the house in question was not burned down. According to Susan Eck at wnyheritagepress.org, the fire started in the back of the house and by the time it was extinguished, the estimated damages totaled roughly $6,000. DiLapo then demolished the house in 1963, not bothering with the carriage house.
When asked about the house, as well as the location of his complex at large, Croce said, “I want people to drive past and feel like this building has been here; I want them to feel like it belongs. That’s why I went with a minimalist design. I wanted some congruency with my building and the surrounding area’s architecture.” And that is what he got, minus the glass tower.
This atrium of sorts serves as the flag in the ground, claiming the corner with its subtle shoji-style paneling. The overhang on top of the tower, detailed with Parklex wood trim from Sweden, brings it all together. It gives this new multi-use complex dojo undertones; just enough to catch the eye but not nearly enough to feel overdone. Croce also mentioned how the arch windows in the carriage house inspired the arch windows in the apartments that look out to Virginia Street.
The parking lot’s location behind the building, thanks to Croce pulling the development right up to the street, and the landscaping help this notion of blending in; who wants to see more lots anyways? Variegated green and yellow grass and trees were planted last week along both the Virginia Street and Delaware Avenue sidewalks.
Speaking of sidewalks, the one on Virginia Street has been redone and the Delaware Avenue side is next to go. Due to the garage and apartment entranceways on the Virginia Street side, landscaping could only be done in allotted areas. Around the corner however, there was room to play. The river stones are from a quarry in Pennsylvania and really help the ambiance.
When asked about how the three floors of commercial space on Delaware Avenue, each with its own walk of business, and the apartments on Virginia Street complement each other, Croce stated “They bring a 24 hour a day energy; vitality.” According to Croce, two of the two bedroom apartments and a one bedroom unit are still available: a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom off of Virginia Street, and a two-bedroom in the carriage house. Did I forget to mention that the two-bedroom units have two full baths? Rent ranges from $1,200 to $1,750 per month.
Croce’s practice on the top floor should be up and running within the next three weeks. As far as the first and second floors go, negotiations are still underway. Expect more from him in the category of mixed-use development projects in the future.
The Frizlen Group was project architect; a job well done to all that have been involved.