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Apartments Proposed for Recently Closed Kenmore Avenue Church

Creative Structures Services (CSS) is planning another adaptive reuse project in North Buffalo.  With one residential conversion under its belt and a second under construction, the development is proposing to convert the 13,000 sq.ft. Buffalo Covenant Church at 786 Kenmore Avenue into residential and commercial space.
A dozen apartments and 2,000 sq.ft. of office space are planned for the church building located at Kenmore and Harvest avenues.  The Evangelical church decided to shut down due to declining membership and held its final service in the building last month.  The congregation had occupied the building since its construction in 1947.  There is a 75-car parking lot on site.

Creative Structures Services, a general contracting, project management and development firm, is headed by David Pawlik and Russell Kyte.  
The $1.3 million development will be known as KLP Commons, after Pawlik’s sister Karen who passed away approximately two years ago from ovarian cancer. 
Two years ago the developers rehabbed a former church at 700 Parkside Avenue into The Lofts at Warwick, a dozen high-end apartments and 5,500 sq.ft. of office space. 
“We have been 100 percent occupied since we completed our development nearly two years ago,” says Pawlik.  “The 786 Kenmore project will be similar in nature, with a mixed apartment/office scenario.”
Work is currently underway on CSS’ conversion of the former Fairfield Library at 1659 Amherst Street into five apartments and a small amount of office space.  That project is expected to be completed next spring. 
CSC expects to purchase the property in January and completing the project in mid-July 2013.
The Kenmore Avenue proposal is scheduled to be reviewed by the Zoning Board of Appeals on November 28 at 2 PM in City Hall Room 901.  Also on the lengthy agenda is a proposal by DePaul Properties to construct a two and three-story 125-unit apartment building in a predominantly industrial area at 380-420 Hopkins Street.  The Zoning Board will also consider a proposal to convert the Blockbuster Video space at 765 Elmwood Avenue into a Panera Bread restaurant.  A variance is needed due to the space exceeding 2,500 sq.ft. in size in the Elmwood Business District.
Get Connected: Creative Structures Services, 716.882.1226

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • Superman3d

    Sales price should be interesting as the City of Buffalo has it assessed at $768,400. This current assessment translates into around $30,000 per year in property taxes.
    If the building is being held as a business venture, it should be taxed. The classroom section of this building was leased out over 30 years ago from my recollection.

  • grad94

    church reuse isn’t actually all that hard, when the diocese or other governing body actually allows it.

  • r-k-tekt

    This was the site of the “freshmen” building for St Joe’s Collegiate across the street until the early 1980’s. When St Joe’s built an additiom they were able to consolidate the entire population under one roof at 845 Kenmore Ave.

  • JSmith

    Does anyone have any information on the asbestos abatement that is being done on the church that had the arson fire on Colvin and Tacoma? I hope it’s not being prepped for demolition.

  • jbny14

    The Korean Methodist Church at Tacoma/Colvin is undergoing (just finished) Asbestos abatement and will be torn down with the next 2 wks.
    I spoke to the foreman about 4-6 wks ago and he informed me that they would be knocking the building down within 8 wks after he gave me a quick tour of the property.
    I thought that this would have been an absolute no-brainer for re-development but, they said the structure was unstable and not safe for re-development.

  • jbny14

    I did a little more digging and found out that the building was actually sold on May 18th 2012.
    This was about 2-3 weeks after it had burned.
    The mystery continues… Hopefully, they would be interested in building an upscale apartment building on the site.

  • JSmith

    I don’t recall seeing this demolition proposal come up on the Preservation Board minutes. I suppose it will be another “Friday evening special”.
    It will be a damn shame to lose that corner (and in fact the entire block of Tacoma from Colvin to Saranac will then be vacant). Perhaps if we are lucky the block will be redeveloped as houses that fit the context of the rest of the street. You could build maybe half a dozen houses on this block – a very feasible little “subdivision” that ought to be easy enough to find buyers for (unlike the 100ish houses that were planned for the isolated Colvin Estates project to the north of here).

  • NorthBuf

    i fear we may see a tim hortons on that corner

  • r-k-tekt

    A demolition permit is in the process.

  • JSmith

    What a terrible waste. Do you have any information about anything proposed to take its place?

  • warrenavenue

    jbny is right…
    I talked to a gentleman the other night (I live right around the corner) and he told me that the building is coming down due to some significant fire damage…The rear (office area) doesn’t look too bad but I would assume that the sanctuary was pretty damaged due to the destroyed windows and other features…Sad, since I was hoping to see a nice redevelopment job like was done on Parkside…Too bad they just waited so damn long to get moving…

  • ivan putski jr

    If it wasn’t for Elmwood ave (from Hertel ave up to Sheridan dr)….Kenmore ave would win the prize for the ugliest stretch of road on the north side of the city……dated buildings, zero landscaping….and no planning with the thought of pleasing the eye….Kenmore ave actually improves in my opinion when it jogs over the other side of Military Rd….because it least the grittiness serves a purpose with the industries in place

  • MEG

    Our sacred spaces deserve more than being torn up by this hack of a developer. Examples: (1) Vinyl everything, all our of proportion in the church on Parkside Ave. (2) A parking lot on the front lawn of the Fairfield Library (former Unitarian Church), cutting up of sanctuary space into apartments, etc.
    The community fought hard against the CSS proposal for Fairfield Library, but the Parkside Community Association wanted this blemish out of their elitist eyes and allowed it to happen.
    CSS opts-out of the historic tax credit so that they do not have to comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards that were put in place to preserve the important architectural characteristics of historic places.
    Assuming CSS keeps snagging this smaller church re-use projects, we should keep an eye on them when they turn to our more landmark religious spaces.

  • Quixote

    Aren’t you being a bit hard on a project that provides a beneficial reuse for an underutilized building?
    Aren’t the current owners know what’s best for their “sanctuary space”?
    One would assume that they agree with the development.

  • North Park

    This was my church as a child. Although it will be fondly missed, the truth is that inside there isn’t much exciting architecture to be found. There are no grand stained glass windows like you’ll find in older churches. The larger part of the building was built in the 60’s and looks like any other 60’s communal building (schools, hospitals, etc.) and is very unremarkable. I’m sadder to lose the congregation than the building.
    If you want to be sad about a church look at the old Buffalo Covenant Church on Jersey (moved in the 40’s to Kenmore Ave.) and imagine what was lost there, no more steeple, bad paint, etc.