Apartments and commercial space are planned for a six-story Theater District building. Mark Croce has a tenant lined up for the first floor of 505 Pearl Street and twenty-nine apartments will fill the 42,000 sq.ft. building’s upper floors.
Croce has owned the Byers Building for over a decade and has held on to the property while he has focused on his other projects primarily along Franklin Street and as of late, the reuse of the Statler Hotel. 505 Pearl Street was constructed for Byers Companies for film distribution and storage. The building is also known as the Saturn Rings Building, named after a long-time tenant that was a jewelry manufacturer.
The $6.5 million redevelopment is now on a fast track and Croce is working with architecture, engineering and design firm Carmina Wood Morris to move the project along. The commercial tenant needs to be in the commercial space by September and a New York Main Street Grant Program awarded to the project needs to be spent before it is lost.
“This is an easy conversion,” says Steven Carmina, AIA. “It’s one of the cleanest we’ve done.”
Carmina says the project is expected to utilize historic preservation tax credits and he will be working to reclassify the building as a contributing structure in the Theater Historic District. Windows will be added to the building’s south façade if the State Historic Preservation Office approves. Elsewhere in the building, many of the windows only need repair. The building’s storefront will be restored.
The upper floors will contain 29 apartments; eight will be two-bedroom units and the balance one bedroom. A rooftop patio is planned and tenant parking is available in an adjacent lot. Residential occupancy is expected next spring.
Croce says 505 Pearl is one of two large projects he will have underway soon. Work on the Curtiss Building boutique hotel at Franklin and W. Huron streets will start early this summer. The circa-1912 building will be a 68-room hotel complete with a full service three-meal restaurant, high-end finishes, and a rooftop patio bar.
“These are two of the larger vacant buildings downtown,” says Croce. “Each are six stories and they’re good buildings to bring back to life.”
Croce is also teaming with James F. Jerge on reuse of the C.W. Miller Livery Stable adjacent to the Curtiss Building at 73-77 W. Huron Street. That $12 million project is expected to include retail, residential and office space. Croce says the project is “still on the radar screen.” He is also focused on Statler City, the most successful banquet and event facility in Western New York. Croce is adding more banquet facilities in unused lower level spaces and continues to look at reuse opportunities for the building’s remaining space.
Plans for 505 Pearl Street were approved by the Planning Board on Tuesday and the Preservation Board will weigh in at its Thursday afternoon meeting.