SAEAVI and Lactalis are seeking Planning Board approvals for the townhomes and whey

Developer SAA-EVI, which already received approval from the Buffalo Planning Board in January for affordable townhomes at Ashley, Pearson and Peck streets near the 44th School project, has revised those plans with a new look and another unit.

The two-part, $3.5 million project still calls for four two-story apartment buildings on 14 vacant lots in the Emerson neighborhood northeast of Central Station, and the overall layout, parking and other factors are the same, according to Carmina Design Architects Wood.

But the plan now envisions 22 three-storey townhomes, with a slight increase of one building. The exterior will feature more modern architecture, with a mix of brick and fiber cement shingles and a pitched roof, rather than the traditional house style originally envisioned, with brick and siding.

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The architects said these changes were based on “feedback from ownership and code compliance issues,” not neighborhood feedback. “It’s a more modern design,” said Dan Buchanan of Carmina Wood.

However, that’s enough to warrant a new public hearing and review, now scheduled for Oct. 10, the Planning Board decided Monday after a brief introduction to the changes. The board was short three of its members — including Chairman James Morrell and Vice Chair Cynthia Schwartz, who was part of the original review.

“I understand your reasons,” said acting president Martha Lamparelli. But “it’s a completely different outlook. I think it’s a great project, but it’s not the plan I presented.”

SAA-EVI will construct three buildings containing 16 townhomes, totaling 21,452 square feet on 0.95 acres, which will wrap around the northwest corner of Ashley and Person.

The project is part of a larger $26.8 million renovation of School 44 at 1349 Broadway, which will transform that building into 65 one-, two- and three-bedroom affordable apartments, with half set aside for victims of domestic violence.

The commission also approved Sorrento Lactalis’ request to consolidate four properties along South Park Avenue into one, as part of the company’s planned $32 million expansion project at its South Buffalo whey processing plant.

The plans — approved by the board in April — call for demolishing an existing 7,000-square-foot warehouse and building a new 6,600-square-foot, 80-foot-tall whey-evaporation facility to house the new equipment, along with a 4,000-square-foot power plant structure containing New transformers, switchgear equipment and other equipment for supplying electricity.

An architectural elevation showing the new expansion facility for the production of whey for the US group Lactalis.

Buffalo Planning Board

The multi-year project would boost the company’s production of whey — a byproduct of cheese making that is also a key ingredient in yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and other products. It’s the latest expansion for Lactalis, which has also expanded its headquarters, created a new parking lot, and is now in the process of creating a new demonstration and test kitchen. The company employs 700 people locally on its 12.5-acre campus.

Contact Jonathan D. Epstein at (716) 849-4478 or

(Tags for translation)Construction industry

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