In Spring 2015, Schneider Development began to market and sell their pioneering downtown adaptive reuse project, the Historic Warehouse Lofts, as condominiums. A little more than a year later, only three of the 30 residential units remain.
“The interest level has been strong and continues to grow, particularly with the recent announcement about the supermarket development across the street,” said Matt Hartrich, Vice President of Development at Schneider Development.
In a boost to help wrap up sales, the building just received Fannie Mae approval, which enables purchasers to access conventional lending products that require as little as five percent down. Until now, purchasers were relegated to portfolio loans that typically required 20 percent down and in most instances, a interest rate premium.
“We had some really great banking partners such as Northwest Savings Bank, Five Star Bank, Bank of Akron, and KeyBank that put together very competitive portfolio products for the building. This conversion wouldn’t have been possible without their belief in the project and in downtown Buffalo,” said Hartrich. “Moving forward, this Fannie Mae designation really opens the door in terms of what they and other lending institutions can provide, and dramatically expands the pool of potential purchasers.”
Historic Warehouse Lofts is the result of a $7.5 million conversion of the former Seneca Paper Co. warehouse. Originally constructed in 1913, the seven-story building is one of the first concrete frame warehouse buildings in the United States. The building is a contributing structure in the J.N. Adams – AM&A’s Historic District and reopened for residential tenants in 2007. Since the developers utilized Historic Tax Credits (HTC) to help offset the cost of rehabilitation, the building could not be utilized for condominiums until the five-year recapture period had ended.
The residential floors, levels three through seven, each have six units with one or two bedrooms and 950 to 1,665 square feet of living space. Units were priced from $215,000 to $365,000. The three remaining units, all one-bedrooms, are priced from $215,000 to $230,000. One bedrooms start at 1,040 sq.ft.
Condominiums feature hardwood flooring in the main living areas, central air, stainless steel appliances, soaking tubs and stand-up showers, quartz kitchen countertops, panel wood doors, ample closet space, in-unit laundry, and double-sink master bathroom vanities. Owners also have access to basement storage areas and secure parking.
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