Work has started on an effort to bring new housing to the German Catholic Orphanage at 564 Dodge Street. The multi-faceted development calls for partial demolition, renovation and new construction to create 60 affordable housing units. The $16.25 million St. Martin Village project is spearheaded by the Community Action Organization of Erie County on a historic property that has been vacant for three decades.
Two existing, three-story, rectangular, brick/clay-block towers will be substantially renovated creating 12 two-bedroom apartments in each building. The circa-1938 chapel will also be incorporated into the plan and will become a community center. Demolition of the remaining orphanage buildings was approved by the Buffalo Preservation Board.
Six new one and two-story brick structures will be constructed. Two of the buildings will contain six, four-bedroom units; one building will have six, three-bedroom units; two buildings will have four, three-bedroom units; and one building will contain ten, three-bedroom residences. All of the units will be affordable for households at or below 50% of area median income.
Oxford Consulting Inc. and the University at Buffalo School of Law Clinical Education Program, Affordable Housing Clinic prepared and submitted applications to the various funding sources, assisted with project approvals, and helped with all aspects of the development process.
The prime investor is Key Community Development Corporation, the construction lender is Key Bank, and the permanent lender will be the Community Preservation Corporation. The City of Buffalo has committed HOME funds in the amount of $2.42 million to the project, $2.4 million is coming from the state Housing Trust Fund Loan Program, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of NY has committed $570,000 through its Affordable Housing Program.
Belmont Management Company, Inc. will coordinate services to residents, conduct marketing and rent-up activities, and ensure compliance with all funding source requirements. R & P Oak Hill Development of Hamburg will be involved from the construction side, with the design work performed by Silvestri Architects P.C.
Construction Financing was released on June 1st, allowing commencement of remediation, demolition and site work.
“This site has been vacant for too long and the community has come together to support the redevelopment of this important parcel of land,” says Erie County Legislature Chair Barbara Miller-Williams.
Construction is expected to take twelve months. Tenants will have an opportunity to purchase their units at the end of the15 year tax credit compliance period.