Central Rock Part of Historic Buffalo Development


The Cooperage property, also known as the E&B Holmes Machinery Co., near Ohio Street. (John Hickey/News file photo)

Central Rock will become a key tenet in an historic development in Buffalo, New York later this year. The Massachusetts climbing gym operator announced they will open a 21,000 square foot climbing facility along side a brewery, distillery and apartments in a former woodworking factory.

“CRG is very excited to bring its proven expertise in creating world class climbing facilities to the Buffalo climbing community.  The facility will provide members with a modern climbing space that is open and community centric.  There will be a huge and open 45 ft. tall area with top rope, and leading climbing. The rope climbing area will be large enough to host more than 150 climbers at the same time. In addition, there will be over 300 linear feet of bouldering walls. Both areas will have all the features expected of a best in class climbing gym for beginners to advanced climbers. We will also have a kids specific climbing area that is ideal for hosting birthday parties and events of any kind.”

Central Rock, the third largest gym developer in the US currently operates nine climbing facilities throughout the Northeast. This Buffalo facility marks the fourth gym that Central Rock has in development.

The Buffalo News reported that the three-story, 21,000-square-foot building will have a distillery on the first floor and include 10 apartments on the upper two floors, with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units of about 1,000 to 1,200 square feet each. The building will stretch along Chicago Street to Mackinaw Street. Behind that will be the 40-foot tall rock-climbing gym.

The Board approved the project. “With the rock-climbing, it’s really going to become more of a destination,” said a Buffalo city Planning Board member.

Ellicott, the building’s developer bought the property early this month for $526,100, and plans to demolish two of the three structures that are beyond saving – the four-story Mill Building, dating to 1870, and the three-story Forge Building, dating to 1912.

Construction will begin as soon as demolition is done. Officials hope to finish by the end of the summer or early fall.