Benderson buys Buffalo Shooting Club property
New urbanism is coming to Amherst in the form of a $40 million "town center" development proposed by Benderson Development Co.
Benderson purchased the Buffalo Shooting Club property on Maple Road and proposes to build a mixed-use development consisting of retail, commercial or offices space, multifamily housing in the form of condominiums or apartments and even a hotel.
The property is located near the University at Buffalo, the Amherst Pepsi Center and Audubon Golf Course.
"We think those attractions are underutilized," said Eric Recoon, vice president of leasing for Benderson.
"If we can create a true regional draw, it will further integrate those assets into the community."
No plan has been submitted to the Amherst Planning Department; however, there have been some preliminary discussions between planning officials and the company.
Gary Black, assistant planning director, said that based on Benderson's preliminary description, the development will require a zoning change.
Currently that property is zoned community facility.
The proposed uses of commercial, office and residential are not allowed in a CF zone, he said.
"It sounds like a very interesting proposal and we'll have to see more detail before we can comment on it," Black said.
According to Recoon, the development will have a campuslike setting.
Actual plans have not been drawn up, as Benderson is still in the process of interviewing and hiring an architect, he said.
However, conceptually the company is looking at an urban setting.
"We really envision kind of that small village ambiance," with heavy landscaping and walkability, Recoon said.
And the market is there.
Recoon said he's already received numerous calls from people looking for information on how to get put on a list to purchase housing within the "town center."
"It's really positioned ideally within the town," Recoon said.
He said there will probably be some "vertical elements," meaning some buildings could be several stories high. Benderson is not sure of the breakdown of housing yet, whether it will be a combination of condos and apartments, just condos or just apartments.
However, there won't be any patio homes or single family homes, Recoon said.
"We really want to integrate this project with the UB Amherst campus. We think it would be a shame not to," he said.
Benderson has purchased the property from the Buffalo Shooting Club, Recoon confirmed.
Pat McHugh, president of the shooting club, said they intend to operate on Maple Road until this fall.
The club is in the process of moving to land in Pembroke, near Rochester.
He said they hope to build a facility that is five times the size of the current location.
The Buffalo Shooting Club has operated there since 1942.
McHugh said the club was not marketing the property, but has received offers every few months for the past 15 years.
"We've never solicited an offer," he said.
McHugh said the Benderson deal was "of mutual benefit," but offered no other details on why the club decided to sell.