ULI New York Blog

‘Five Minutes With’ feat. Michael Montante – Uniland

uniland_photo1“Five Minutes With…” Michael Montante, Vice President at Uniland – developer of the Delaware North Building in Buffalo, winner of the 2017 ULI NY Awards for Excellence in Mixed-Use Development.

What features of your project are you most proud of, and why?

The Delaware North Building and its entire campus is a project dedicated to improving a neighborhood due to its strategic location in the Central Business District (CBD) of Buffalo, NY. We are most proud that we took an underutilized, contaminated site and a distressed building and transformed them into a new center of commerce that beautifies and adds amenities to the neighborhood. As part of Buffalo’s renaissance, the project also personifies the resilience and inventiveness of Western New Yorkers and our passion for helping this city thrive.

What is one positive lesson your team gained during the project’s development?

Through community collaboration and preservation board involvement, Uniland was able to provide additional terra cotta screening of the five-story parking garage on two street frontages and allow for more storefront space on the street level.

What is one challenge your team overcame during the project’s development? How did you overcome the challenge?

When it was determined that it was not possible to save the two-story historic terra cotta façade due to deterioration, we enlisted a team of architects and designers to determine how best to recreate and integrate it into the modern design of a new structure. The result was a pain-staking process of laser-surveying the intricately designed terra cotta panels to ensure an exact replication using a local custom terra cotta fabricator. The result was 2,300 new pieces that are precise replicas seamlessly integrated into the new building. We feel the result is as good, if not better, than trying to rebuild around the original façade or removing and reattaching it to the new structure.

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