A Cherry Street warehouse has a new owner this morning. The Evergreen Foundation purchased the five-story warehouse building at 117-145 Cherry Street yesterday from Buffalo Sonic Blinds Inc. for $750,000. The 65,000 sq.ft. building was constructed in 1901 and overlooks the Kensington Expressway just east of Michigan Avenue.
The Evergreen Foundation is a subsidiary of the Evergreen Association that oversees four affiliated agencies including the Foundation, Evergreen Health Services (formerly AIDS Community Services), PRIDE Center of WNY and Alianza Latina.
Evergreen plans to redevelop the space into a Housing First style apartment complex that will provide safe, permanent and affordable housing to individuals and families who are marginally housed or struggling with homelessness; many of whom are clients of the agency and identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).
Evergreen is currently working with a development team that includes LPCiminelli, SWBR Architects of Rochester, Southern Tier Environments for Living (STEL), and Preservation Studios to leverage tax credits and additional funding resources.
Rear of Building Facing Genesee Street
“Evergreen has a demonstrated ability to provide effective and efficient housing services,” said Ron Silverio, President / CEO of Evergreen Health. “We will rely on our experience to ensure the occupancy and sustainability of this project.”
“The identified need for this project evolved out of community-wide discussions on the impact of homelessness and poverty on Western New York’s marginalized communities, particularly LGBT people and their families” said Silverio.
Called The Evergreen Lofts, the building is anticipated to house 50 apartment units. Its residents will have direct access to Evergreen’s established network of care services, which include medical, pharmacy, mental health, nutrition, and transportation services, as well as health education, health promotion and disease-specific prevention programs.
The Cherry Street property has been on and off the market for several years. Rocco Termini had been eyeing the property for office and business incubator space. That deal fell apart in 2010.