Mayor Byron W. Brown today joined developer Douglas Jemal for walking tour of the City’s Mohawk Parking Ramp site, at 477 Washington St., which Jemal’s Douglas Development Corp. will be transforming into a mixed-use hub that will include housing, parking, commercial space, street-level retail and multi-modal mobility links.
Douglas Development, which was selected as the designated developer of the City-owned parking ramp site following an extensive evaluation process, plans to make the 1.1 acre site the anchor of a redeveloped downtown neighborhood which will include transformation of several adjacent and nearby buildings the firm recently acquired.
“Douglas Jemal and his team’s ambitious and innovative plan, which includes a number of public benefit initiatives, went above and beyond the very high bar we set in choosing a developer for this key downtown site,” Mayor Brown said. “Douglas’s broader vision to harness his adjacent properties to reimagine an entire neighborhood will be a game-changer for the equitable growth of downtown Buffalo.”
Douglas Development’s winning proposal goes beyond the physical transformation of the 67-year-old parking ramp, the developer will forgo all governmental subsidies. The firm will also partner with the City to create a special infrastructure fund utilizing property tax proceeds to bolster projects on the edge of downtown and near east side that need a non-conventional financial lift.
Under Douglas Development’s unprecedented plans, the developer will invest approximately $45 million at the Mohawk Parking Ramp site to:
Douglas Development also plans to invest more than $110 million in the former Simon properties, adjacent to the Mohawk site, where it will create an additional 600 residential units, including 15 percent affordable units.
Douglas Development was one of six development teams which submitted proposals in 2021 to reimagine the 1.1 acre Mohawk Parking Ramp site as an anchor in the City’s new Mobility and Innovation Zone in the Lower Main Street neighborhood. Goals for the adaptive reuse of the ramp were guided by the recommendations of the December 2020 “The Future of Mobility: Remaking Buffalo for the 21st Century” study.
In October 2021, the field was cut to three finalists, with the selection committee inviting the public to submit comments to help guide the final selection.