After a longer than expected incubation, a Cottage District condo conversion project is about to hit the market. The three full-floor units at The Lofts on York at the corner of York Street and Union Place are priced from $209,000 to $219,000.
Each residence contains two bedrooms and two baths with 1,400 to 1,500 sq.ft . of living space. Finishes include granite countertops, travertine, bamboo and polished concrete flooring, high efficiency furnaces and central air, security system, and nine to 11 foot ceilings. The large master suite includes a jacuzzi tub, separate shower, and walk-in closet. A washer and dryer and kitchen appliances, even a wine refrigerator, are included in the sales price. One off-street parking space per unit is provided.
ACJ Property Management, Inc., consisting of Aubrey Balcom, Jason Moore and Chris Goffredo purchased the three-story former apartment building at 185 York Street in 2007.
“This is actually our third project in the area, after rehabbing two homes on Ketchum,” says Balcom.
Advice to Budding Real Estate Moguls
Finishing their largest project to date has been a learning experience for the partners who each have day jobs. According to Balcom, “It truly requires one person to be coordinating the project in a full time capacity, not simply relying upon your general contractor. In hindsight, one of the three partners involved in this project should have focused on the project as their full time job, rather than having three partners manage the job in a part time capacity.”
“It is absolutely imperative to ensure the competency of your contractor from the beginning to make sure they have the capabilities to take on this type of project, reviewing their previous work for similar projects, and not solely relying upon referrals,” adds Balcom.
“Ultimately you pay for quality work and it is not worth trying to save a few bucks to present a quality, top rate project. I had our last general contractor rework a number of things the first contractor completed that I did not feel met the quality that I would want to present to a buyer,” he says.
Not Done in the Cottage District
Balcom and his partners are clearly sold on the Cottage District and says the community and neighbors have been extremely supportive of their project. They are planning additional investment in the neighborhood.
“The community is very strong and improvements are being continually made. I find it to be an incredibly dynamic area of the city, and if I did not already own my home a few blocks away, I would live here in a heartbeat,” he says.
“The history and amazing architecture, at a residential level, the cottages and Victorians, are absolutely beautiful,” says Balcom. “When we speak of Buffalo architecture we usually discuss the mansions on Delaware, or other commercial buildings, while overlooking the beauty around us in the homes in which we live.”
“As we move forward Chris and I are very interested in the West Side in general and the Cottage District in particular,” says Balcom.
The team is looking at building a ‘green,’ LEED-certified residential home and a multiple unit (10-12 units) with a cottage feel. They are also interested in both adaptive reuse and aging-in-place housing (ensuring homes meet the needs of seniors).
Says Balcom, “During construction of York we were shocked at the interest we received from empty nesters and seniors looking to move back into the city. I think this is a testament to the culture that continues to develop in the Cottage District with respect to the success of Garden Walk, as well as the close proximity to Elmwood, Allentown, and downtown.”
Get Connected: Jason, Moore, 716.812.4348