It seems that any vacant, multi-floor building is a residential conversion candidate these days and the demand for apartments is not confined to downtown. To that end, developers are proposing to convert vacant church schools to residential use in North and South Buffalo.
Architect/developer Karl Frizlen is proposing to put 32 market rate apartments in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic school and gymnasium in South Buffalo. The school and gymnasium are located behind the church at 432 Abbott Road and front both Tamarack and Athol streets. Frizlen will be presenting plans to the Zoning Board of Appeals on December 17.
In North Buffalo, Iskalo Development is proceeding with plans to convert the former St. Margaret’s Elementary School at 1391 Hertel Avenue to market-rate apartments. The 23 one and two-bedroom units will range in size from 770 to 1,300 sq.ft. There will be a gated parking lot for 50 cars and nearly 2,000 sq.ft. of commercial space. Plans call for a patio area in front of the commercial space along Hertel Avenue.
The three-story school building was originally constructed in 1917 as the church for the parish and had that role up until 1957 when the current church was constructed to the west. In 1967 an addition was added to the building fronting Hertel Avenue. Enrollment in the elementary school (K through eighth grade) peaked at 600 students in the 1980s and had fallen to less than 100 when it closed after the 2011-2012 school year.