Pita Gourmet will expand its reach in the Southtowns with a new location in Hamburg, with plans to open in a former Pizza Hut in May.
The local Mediterranean chain is working with Bevilacqua Development L.P., which developed the 2,938-square-foot building at 5565 Camp Road where Pizza Hut closed its franchise early in the pandemic. Bevilacqua bought the building last year in partnership with broker Tammy Recckio.
The store, which will employ 15 to 18, will be Pita Gourmet’s first standalone location, joining stores in Niagara Falls, East Amherst, Williamsville, Orchard Park and Amherst on Sheridan Drive, the newest store that opened in early January. Bevilacqua developed the stores in East Amherst and Orchard Park as well.
Plans call for redeveloping the interior to match Pita Gourmet’s signature color scheme and branding, said Joe Mahfouz, who co-owns the business with his brother, Mark.
“We want everything to be uniform with branding, the color scheme and the finishes,” he said. “This will be our first standalone location and will be one of our larger stores.”
Founded in 2005, the company specializes in fast-casual Mediterranean-American fusion, including stuffed pitas, souvlaki, hummus and wraps and salads.
The brothers had been eyeing Hamburg for a while, Mahfouz said.
“We wanted to extend our presence in the Southtowns, parlaying our Orchard Park location, and Hamburg’s a good fit with our demographics,” he said.
No plans are underway for further expansion for now, but there is talk of growing outside the region.
“We’re not sure we’re there yet, but everything we do now is with that in mind,” he said. “We make our decisions with the ultimate goal of regional or national franchising, but there’s many steps yet to get there.”
It has been more than three years since Jonathan Bevilacqua began working on plans for a mixed-use community on 36 acres in Clarence.
The project has gone through several iterations since, and isn’t at the finish line, yet. But now he expects to start construction next year on well over $20 million of new development in the eastern suburb.
“It’s been years in the making, at this point, so it’s definitely rewarding to finally be making some real progress on it,” the developer said.
Bevilacqua Development is teaming with Alliance Homes on a project that will bring more than 142 new residential units – including 16 single-family homes and 36 townhomes – to an irregular swath of vacant and wooded land between Transit Road and Ransom Creek.
Located on the north side of Miles Road, north of Casey Road, the three-phase project will feature more than 32 structures arrayed across the site, with a maximum height of 40 feet.
The development at 6625 Transit would be divided among two sections – a 19.2-acre western section along Transit that is zoned commercial, and a 16.8-acre residential-zoned area to the east, extending toward the creek and Miles Road.
The project features:
Four commercial lots of 0.8 acres each along the Transit frontage, with two 7,500-square-foot commercial buildings, a 2,982-square-foot restaurant and a 2,500-square-foot restaurant, both with drive-thrus. Each of the commercial buildings would have its own parking around it, with greenspace buffers in back.
Two L-shaped, three-story buildings behind them, each with 22,750 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 31 apartments on the second and third floors.
A proposed three-story apartment building in the middle of the site, with first-floor garage parking and 28 apartments upstairs.
A series of nine two-story townhouse buildings with four units in each – two two-bedroom apartments and two three-bedroom apartments – for a total of 36 units, spread across the rear of the property and in front of storm-water retention ponds.
A driveway and roadway curving through the site from Transit just north of the four commercial lots and then winding back toward the southeast corner, where it would extend into the residential property before coming out onto Miles. Sixteen detached home lots – ranging from 8,268 square feet to 32,011 square feet in size – would be arrayed on both sides of the residential portion of the street curving through the site, behind existing homes along part of Miles.
In all, that’s 62 apartments in the mixed-use buildings, 28 in the apartment building, 36 townhomes and 16 detached homes. Bevilacqua is handling the commercial components, including the apartment buildings, while Alliance takes the townhomes and single-family subdivision.
The plan would include several sections of open-space land within that overall property – including 8.4 acres with the residential land – so that only 21.9 acres of land are actually disturbed. But it also affects 3.46 acres of federal wetlands and 985 linear feet of ditches under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction, so Bevilaqua will create 7.38 acres of new wetland and 325 linear feet of “enhancement” along a stream that flows into Ransom.
The project includes the driveway connection to Transit, the public road from Miles for the homes, as well as parking, landscaping, lighting, sidewalks and utility connections.
Bevilacqua – who first submitted plans in June 2021 – received environmental approval on Oct. 19, but still needs a special-use permit, site plan approval and minor subdivision from the town Planning Board, variances for height and number of units from the Zoning Board of Appeals and various permits. The ZBA meets on Nov. 8, and Bevilacqua said he hopes to get concept plan approval in December, followed by full approval by February or March.
If approved, Bevilacqua envisions the initial clearing, grading and site preparation to begin next spring, with three phases of construction starting in fall 2023 and ending by late 2025. The mixed-use and commercial components will likely be done first, followed by the residential, the company said in its filing with the town, but “the precise phasing will be dependent on market conditions.”
A site plan layout for Bevilacqua Development’s proposed mixed-use project on Transit Road north of Miles Road in Clarence.
Clarence Planning Board
A pair of suburban developers are proposing three projects in Clarence that would bring townhouses, single-family homes, apartments and commercial space to Transit Road and Main Street.
In the biggest of the three, Bevilacqua Development is planning a mixed-use project for part of the 36-acre property acquired three years ago for $760,000 at 6625 Transit, just north of Miles Road.
Bevilacqua is planning to construct 146 residences on the property, in 31 separate structures and a blend of configurations. The project has been in development for more than two years, and will have components that are similar to Bevilacqua’s Lymstone Lofts in Williamsville and University Place in Amherst.
According to documents submitted by attorney Sean Hopkins and engineering plans by Carmina Wood Morris PC, the project includes:
Two three-story buildings, each with 25,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space, along with 25 upper floor apartments and eight upper-floor townhomes
Three three-story townhouse buildings, with 28 units and first-floor garages
Nine two-story multifamily apartment buildings with four units in each, for a total of 36 units
A commercial building for a restaurant with a drive-thru facility
A subdivision with 16 lots for detached homes, on the eastern portion of the project site, with about 8.4 acres dedicated to permanent open space.
“The project sponsor is proposing mixed-use buildings with high-quality architecture along the Transit Road frontage that will avoid the appearance of strip plaza developments that are prevalent along Transit Road,” Hopkins wrote, citing the town’s comprehensive plan and a “preferred development survey” about visually appealing buildings.
The homes will occupy the eastern portion of the site, about 16.8 acres, while the other developments will be focused on the westernmost 19.1 acres, including along Transit. A small portion of the property is considered wetlands, subject to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction, while the property also contained a historic homestead that was not eligible for state listing.
An earlier version of the project from two years ago envisioned five four-story mixed-use buildings with restaurants, commercial space and apartments; two standalone 28-seat restaurants; a bank branch, four four-unit townhouse buildings, nine four-unit apartment buildings and 16 four-bedroom houses.
Besides town Planning Board approval, the project also needs a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the third floor of the multifamily buildings, as well as a special-use permit from the Town Board.
If approved, the project would be undertaken in three phases for the mixed-use buildings, the subdivision and the multifamily apartments, starting in November and finishing by December 2023.
Jonathan Bevilacqua knows his real estate world revolves largely along Transit Road in Amherst and Clarence.
“It is nice to have that presence along Transit Road,” said Bevilacqua, Bevilacqua Development L.P. managing partner.
Bevilacqua estimates that 90% of the 600,000 square feet in his company portfolio is in Amherst and Clarence, much of it centered around Transit Road. In a stretch starting near Klein Road and heading north towards North French Road, Bevilacqua may be the most prominent commercial developer. The company does have properties in Orchard Park, Dunkirk and Lockport.
And his portfolio is about to get larger.
Bevilacqua is negotiating to purchase a CVS Pharmacy retail property at Transit and Casey roads in Amherst for $3 million and then expand the property for a 12,000-square-foot retail center and a 4,500-square-foot retail center. In all, Bevilacqua may spend $5.4 million to buy the land and build. The project is more than 50% pre-leased before the first shovel of dirt is turned. Those tenants include the region’s first School of Rock, Feature Meals & Eatery and Kaylena Marie’s Bakery.
The developer is also looking at a 36-acre parcel at Transit and Miles roads in Clarence to build a complex of single-family homes, apartments, office space and retail.
“We wouldn’t be doing these if we didn’t feel there was a demand for it,” Bevilacqua said. “I’m fielding more calls than I have space.”
He said his focus is to fill his buildings with local, homegrown tenants that primarily need 5,000 square feet or less. His typical tenant leases about 2,000 square feet.
“It works for me because I’m a developer and not just a cash investor when it comes to real estate,” Bevilacqua said. “I’d like to think our portfolio is unique in that regard, especially with the type of tenants we go after.”
For example, in Orchard Park, Bevilacqua took the former 15,879-square-foot Carolina Furniture store at 3144 Orchard Park Road and spent $2.4 million retrofitting it for local retailers Pita Gourmet, Tom’s Pro Bikes and Buffalo Trim.
Bevilacqua said his company portfolio is composed of apartments and retail at 40% each and office at 20%.
“I find it is a sound strategy to be diverse,” Bevilacqua said. “The nature of most of our buildings is to be mixed-use and inherently diverse. To focus solely on any one thing will get you in trouble.” https://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2021/04/19/developer-goes-up-and-down-transit-road.html
Bevilacqua Development is proposing to construct a pair of mixed-use multitenant commercial buildings that would fill out a retail plaza at the southwest corner of Casey and Transit roads in Amherst.
The 5.65-acre plaza property at9290-9300 Transit is divided into three parcels. It already has a 15,470-square-foot Aldi grocery store and a 13,321-square-foot CVS Pharmacy taking up two of the pieces. But there’s still a long grass field behind both stores, totaling 1.72 acres.
Aldi – which owns the entire property – has agreed to sell that rear portion and the CVS property to Bevilacqua for $3 million, divesting itself of 3.5 acres while keeping its own store.
“It’s rare when you get to acquire a generational quality asset like CVS,” said Jonathan Bevilacqua, owner and managing member of his firm. “It’s a signal intersection with a heavily trafficked area, with room for additional development.”
Under plans by architects at Lauer-Manguso and engineers at Carmina Wood Morris PC, the developer is proposing to construct two single-story buildings – a 4,500-square-foot building at the north end toward Casey, with a proposed outdoor patio area for 24 seats, and a 12,000-square-foot building at the southern end.
Bevilaqua said he has signed two leases so far. Kaylena Marie’s Bakery will open its second location in 2,400 square feet of the smaller building. The bakery already operates in another Bevilacqua-owned property in Orchard Park. And School of Rock, a franchise, will occupy 3,000 square feet at one end of the larger building.
If approved, Bevilacqua hopes to start the $1.6 million project as soon as possible, and finish the building shells by October.
This is the latest project in that part of Amherst for Bevilacqua, which previously built out the 45,000-square-foot Transit Meadows office and retail complex at Transit and Clarence Center roads, and also purchased 36 acres at Transit and Miles roads.
The Amherst Planning Board will evaluate the proposal on April 15.
East Amherst, NY Bevilacqua Development L.P. is now in the final stages of its new development, the Transit Meadows, located on Transit Rd. The project cost was not disclosed.
The site totals 45,000 s/f of office and retail space spread over three 10,000 s/f buildings and two 7,500 s/f buildings. With the landscaping, masonry façade, and 400 parking spaces, Bevilacqua has built a tenant roll and 74% occupancy before completion.
The project is located on Transit Rd. at the signaled intersection of Clarence Center Rd., near the border of Clarence.
This project is comprised of a mix of professional office space, as well as retail space geared toward health and wellness, such as a gym, chiropractor, day spa, and salon.
Concept plans for the vacant land at Transit and Miles roads will be submitted in the coming weeks to the Town of Clarence for Bevilacqua’s mixed-use, residential-anchored proposed development.
Almost one year after acquiring a 36-acre parcel along Transit Road, Bevilacqua Development L.P. has fine-tuned its plans for the property.
Jonathan Bevilacqua, development company CEO, said the multi-phased plan will be steeped in residential options.
Bevilacqua’s Lymstone Lofts in Williamsville and University Place in Amherst both have commercial, restaurant and retail street level tenants and market rate apartments on their respective upper floors.
That same development pattern is proposed for the Transit Road complex.
A trio of projects — all geared for retailers, restaurants or offices — are planned along Transit Road, while five buildings will be set further back. The five buildings may either be three or four stories and collectively have anywhere from 80 to 100 apartments. Later phases will focus on the development of as many as 20 single-family homes.
The still-to-be named project is just north of another Bevilacqua project along the Clarence side of Transit Road. That project, Transit Meadows, is nearing its complete build out.
Carmina Wood & Morris has been retained to help Bevilacqua with the engineering work. Bevilacqua said he hopes to start the project next spring.
By Stephen T. Watson | Published 10:51 a.m. September 26, 2018
Bevilacqua Development plans to construct residential and retail space on 36 acres of vacant land the company bought this week along Transit Road in Clarence.
CEO Jonathan Bevilacqua said the company doesn’t yet have a concept plan for the property, on Transit just north of Miles Road. But he said they expect to hammer out the design for a mixed-use development within the next two months and to submit a site plan to Clarence officials within six months.
Bevilacqua Development paid $760,000 to buy the vacant parcel from D3 Transit LLC, according to public records. Bevilacqua said the property was attractive because of its 720 feet of frontage on Transit, an amount that is difficult to assemble, and because of its proximity to the company’s other parcels in Clarence and East Amherst.