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Two Rehab Projects Advance

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency approved a $16.6 million project to create student housing near Erie Community College’s city campus and plans to rehab a vacant multi-family structure at 250 Virginia Street. 

Developer Jake Schneider will convert the 100-year-old Alling & Cory building, at 136 N. Division St., into a 90-apartment/dorm complex. Also approved was a $1.6 conversion of a three-story Virginia Street property into apartments by Casa Shelby Development LLC.  Both projects are taking advantage of the new IDA adaptive reuse program approved in December.

The Alling & Cory building, vacant for several years, was built in 1910 and served as a warehouse for International Paper Co.  Located three blocks from ECC’s City Campus, the complex is expected to offer a mix of studio and multi-bedroom apartments and will include utilities, cable and Internet service. About 290 tenants, mostly students, are expected to live there.

The six-story building will feature 24/7 security, a student activity center, a deli/café, video and pool rooms, laundry facilities and a small grocery store. At least 25 percent of the apartments will be accessible for the disabled.  ECC officials may extend hours at its library and the Flickinger Center athletic facility to accommodate students living nearby.

The project is expected to attract mostly ECC students, especially its athletes, but it is not limited to them and will be marketed at other colleges as well. Parking will be offered after three buildings that face Michigan Avenue are demolished in May. 

alling cory.jpg 

Rents are expected to run from $500 a month per resident for apartments with up to four tenants, to $685 per month for a one-person studio.

“These projects demonstrate the significant role the ECIDA plays in helping rebuild downtown Buffalo through its new Adaptive Reuse Policy, something I was proud to champion,” said Erie County Executive Chris Collins, also an ECIDA board member. “Through ECIDA support, these vacant properties will now be rehabilitated, restored to the tax rolls, and allow more people to live in downtown.”

Construction is expected to start in June and the building would be ready for tenants for the fall semester of the 2010-2011 school year.

250Virginia.jpg

The Casa Shelby building is at the corner of Virginia and 10th streets and has been vacant for more than five years. Originally a hotel, it was used as apartments at one time and plans call for it to have 24 apartments designed for lower and medium-income tenants. Developer Anthony Lorusso has renovated other apartment complexes in Buffalo, including Brent Manor Apartments on Elmwood Avenue.

The project will be privately funded, although the company will also seek historic tax credits as well as the ECIDA inducements. Parking will be provided at a nearby lot. Work is slated to start in the summer with tenants moving in by late fall.

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

View All Articles by David Steele
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