Two neighborhood projects got the go ahead from the Buffalo Planning Board on Monday. This is excellent news and will bring new life to two great buildings.
SAA-EVI, led by David Alexander and Ernst Valery, want to convert the former Buffalo school at 1349 Broadway, at Person, into 65 units of affordable housing. The 130,000-square-foot building on 2.65 acres will include a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with half of them reserved for victims of domestic violence, who will receive services through Catholic Charities.
The $26.8 million project, which will benefit from historic tax credits, will be completed in accordance with federal and state preservation standards. Plans by Carmina Wood Morris also include new windows and a new roof, plus 80 parking spaces. The historic smokestack in back will remain.
“It’s a great project. I can’t wait to see it up and running,” said Planning Board member Martha Lamparelli.
The project – which had previously been approved in 2017 – was originally conceived by developer Rhonda Ricks, who partnered with SAA-EVI, until she died from cancer in 2019. SAA-EVI took up the project in partnership with Stratford Capital Group.
“We believe that everyone deserves to have a great place to live, regardless of their income level,” said SAA-EVI developer Connor Kenney.
Apartments at the Lyceum
The former school or Lyceum building of St. John Kanty Church in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.
Community Services for Every1 is teaming up with Rochester-based Edgemere Development to renovate the 57,870-square-foot former East Side school and community center building of St. John Kanty into the Apartments at the Lyceum.
The developers are also buying 10 adjacent vacant parcels from the city for parking and greenspace, which will be combined to create a 1.45-acre property.
Located at 97-101 Swinburne St., in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, the project for low-income residents would include 26 one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom apartments, with 12 units reserved as permanent supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence. Four units would be set aside for those with mobility impairments, while two would be reserved for people with hearing or visual impairments.
The $18 million project will be funded with historic tax credits, as well as money from New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.
“It’s a fabulous project,” said Planning Board Vice Chair Cynthia Schwartz. “You’re saving a beautiful building.”
The church will continue using the facility’s commercial kitchen for up to 90 days a year for cooking, baking and other programs.