It was around four years go when Harvey Garrett first took Mike and Tony Christiano through a burned-out old vacant eight-unit flophouse on the city’s West Side. Now, after working on the apartment building for two and a half years, the brothers are only couple of weeks away from renting the four units and 2800 sq.’, first floor commercial space. It took twenty-five dumpster loads of debris before work could even begin on the interior. The exterior had been boarded up with wood for years and years. The former owner moved to the outskirts of town and left the building to literally rot away. It took the vision of Harvey, Mike and Tony to gut the interior and start from scratch.
The building is located directly next-door to the for-sale Horsefeathers building. It is also just down the street from Phu Thai market, a brand new First Niagara Bank (built as a Greater Buffalo Savings Bank), the recently relocated (from Elmwood) Flowers, etc., Mineo and Sapio, the Armory Restaurant and D’Youville College. It was the college that gave the brothers the incentive that they needed… they wanted to make sure that there were thriving institutions in the neighborhood that would take advantage of a restored property. If they were going to be looking to get rents for between $795 and $895, then they wanted to know that their investment would attract paying tenants.
So they added forced air with A/C, wood floors, washer and dryers, dishwashers, stainless steel appliances, and new windows. They also knocked out every non-load baring wall. Wallboards were pulled away to expose the natural brick interior, and the drop ceilings were yanked out to show the eight-foot high ceilings. The rentals are spacious and feature stairwell wainscoting and skylight, alarm system, bay windows, shared back porch (between two units), and offer a surprisingly quiet atmosphere.
At one point, this building housed the Connecticut Street Hardware Store on the first floor. The only details remaining from that business are the wood beams across the ceiling and the sturdy column supports. A brand new modern industrial concrete floor was recently poured to accommodate a commercial tenant (rent is between $1000 and $1200). There is a full basement that goes along with the first floor space as well as a parking lot and green-space.
The building is located at 334-336 Connecticut Street and is being leased through Gurney, Becker and Bourne.
See and image of the building as it was in a post by Harvey Garrett.