The owners of the proposed Colvin Estates subdivision in North Buffalo are in line for a nice Christmas present: $642,000 in City funds to build a new road through their 23-acre property. The subdivision will occupy former rail land connecting Starin and Colvin avenues between Taunton Place and St. Lawrence Avenue.
The infrastructure work was reinserted into a City Council-approved capital budget which Mayor Brown can still veto. Given the unanimous Council vote in favor of the revised capital budget, any veto is likely to be overturned however.
“It’s a project that, if done right, could produce tangible results,” Delaware Council Member Michael LoCurto told The Buffalo News.
Developer David Gordon received approval in January 2007 to build 126 single-family homes along one continuous 66′ right-of-way. Lots will be 55′ wide and vary between 79′ to 89′ deep. Lots at the Starin and Colvin entrances will be 70′ wide with brick entry features planned. The NFTA required that there be a 30′ right-of-way preserved on the north side of the property for a bikeway and potentially a future light rail extension. The property owner is donating to the City the land needed within the subdivision for the roadway, as well as an easement for the bike path.
Gordon had fully-entitled property up for sale for some time. It is unknown if he is still pushing the project or a potential buyer is behind the scenes working to get public funding. In any case, if built, it will be the city’s largest market-rate, single family housing development in decades.
Two of the proposed home designs for Colvin Estates
At full build-out, project proponents estimate the new homes will generate more than $600,000 in real estate taxes and user fees per year. Sponsors also say the “sorely needed” new homes in one of the city’s best neighborhoods will compete with suburban housing markets. From the project website:
“By providing a range of affordable housing product not currently available in Buffalo, the development will be attractive to empty nesters looking to downsize to a single floor plan, as well as to those looking for their first house, like young professionals and young families desiring to live within walking distance of public transit and the Hertel Avenue entertainment and shopping district, and a short drive to the larger North Buffalo shopping area. The ability to develop a new affordable market rate housing proximate to these kinds of amenities is, but for this property, practically unknown in Buffalo.”
“This property can be shovel-ready in 2010 for new housing development with the provision of the same level of public infrastructure that the City has provided for every other housing subdivision, including Waterfront Village, William Gaiter Parkway and Carey (sic) Street.”