On an early-spring afternoon, the $16 million Cooperage at Chicago and Ohio streets offered postcard views of downtown and the Buffalo River. From the second and third floors, it’s a rarely seen vista.
The Cooperage is one of two Ellicott Development Co. projects to open soon. The other is the $74 million 500 Pearl building, anchored by Aloft hotel.
“The Cooperage is going to be a destination,” said Chris Scanlon, South District councilman.
The project is the latest private development along the one-mile stretch of Ohio Street from Michigan Avenue to the Outer Harbor. where more than $11 million in city, state and federal dollars revamped the street.
“It’s a prime example of how public dollars can spur private dollars,” Scanlon said.
Construction centers on a three-story, 30,000-square-foot new build and a two-story, 25,000-square-foot mix of new build and renovation.
Tom Fox, Ellicott Development director of development, said the intent was always to make the Cooperage a destination. That’s why Resurgence Brewing Co. plans to open a production center and taproom in about 10,000 square feet in the building, which was constructed in the 1850s.
Also coming is Central Rock Gym, with a three-stories-high climbing wall, a still-to-be named distillery, Jennifer Julia Salon, six apartments and 8,000 square feet of office space.
“And we still consider the entire Ohio Street corridor to be in its development infancy,” Fox said.
Cooperage tenants will open in phases, he said.
Central Rock Gym opened this month, Resurgence will open by Memorial Day, a beer garden this summer and the distillery, salon, offices and apartments in July. The apartments are one- and two-bedroom units and average 1,100 square feet.
Ellicott Development retained CJS Architects and Kulback’s Construction for the Cooperage.
Artifacts from E.B. Holmes Co., which occupied the complex for nearly a century, will be displayed. That includes table saws, desks, plunge saws and pieces of metal gears and sprockets.
By James Fink – Reporter, Buffalo Business First