A new medical office building downtown and plans to revive a long-vacant Elmwood Avenue restaurant won approval in City Hall on Tuesday.
“Conventus,” a seven-story building that its developers hope will serve as a gateway to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, was approved by the Planning Board and will now seek a height variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Joe’s Deli, at Hertel and Colvin avenues, will open a second location on Elmwood Avenue near West Utica Street, where Off the Wall used to be.
Deli owner Joseph Lyons won approval from the Common Council’s Legislation Committee.
Lyons and his wife, Rachael Rossitto, own the business and are purchasing 534 Elmwood Ave. They plan to maintain the outdoor patio, offer indoor seating and takeout food, and be open by May, Lyons said.
Lyons also is seeking a liquor license and plans to be open seven days a week.
Ciminelli Real Estate’s “Conventus” project, on Main Street between High and Goodrich streets, will house Kaleida and UBMD, a doctors group affiliated with the university.
The 350,000-square-foot building will connect to the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, the new UB Medical School and UB’s Research Institute on Addictions.
“It’s always been our intention to have a building that’s complementary … and not compete with the strong architecture that will be on three sides,” said architect Glenn Pawloski of Kideney Architects.
The design for the building was described as a “lantern,” one that will be transparent and well lit, designed with neutral colors.
“It’s very warm and soft, that’s the intention,” Pawloski said.
The development will have room for 318 parking spaces below grade and will be within 500 feet of a multimodal transit hub, which also will have parking spaces.
A spring 2015 opening is planned.
City Hall approvals also were granted to two Hertel Avenue restaurants, which will both serve Italian food.
Rick and Diane Serra have moved their bakery from one part of Hertel to another and are planning to open a restaurant, as well. Caramici’s Bistro & Bakery, at 1503 Hertel, should be open in a couple of weeks, Diane Serra said.
The site was formerly home to La Marina and Victor’s Bar & Grille.
Angelo and Leanne Antonucci hope to open Leangelo’s at the former Garangelo’s, at 1197 Hertel, this summer.
In other Planning Board business Tuesday:
• Engineers working on Canalside presented plans for a public space between Washington and Main streets, which will feature seating, trees, an extension of the canal replicas on the former Aud block, to the west, and arched fountains.
The board’s approval of the project is not necessary, and the presentation was made as a courtesy to the city.
• Plans for a scrap metal recycling facility operated by Ben Weitsman & Son of Buffalo were delayed for another two weeks, at the request of the company.
On Jan. 15, the board had asked the company, which would like to operate at Hertel Avenue and Military Road, to further study the noise impact the business will have on the neighborhood.