The site of the future Lofts at University Heights has been active as of late as construction crews begin to transform the former Buffalo Public School 63/Campus North into a 44-unit mixed-income apartment complex. Official groundbreaking will take place on Monday, November 21, 2016 at 1pm.
The 73,000-square-foot property at 120 Minnesota Avenue is prominently integrated into the center of the neighborhood, with large frontages on Minnesota, Lisbon, and Cordova Avenues. It is within walking distance to UB South Campus and a short walk to Main Street businesses and the Lasalle metro station. The building has been vacant since the school closed in 2007 due to declining enrollment.
Queens-based CB-Emmanuel Realty, LLC will convert the property to residential use thanks to a variety of funding sources. The $16 million project recently received $2 million from the Better Buffalo Fund, and an $8.8 million mortgage through the NYS Housing Finance Agency is providing the bulk of the financing. Other funding is coming from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Preservation Tax Credits, and City of Buffalo HOME funds.
Due to the tax-exempt bond financing restrictions, three of the units will be for households who earn no more than 50 percent of the Annual Median Income (AMI) for the area, 35 will be for households earning up to 60 percent of AMI, and six will be set aside for households earning no more than 90 percent of AMI, adjusted for family size.
Carmina Wood Morris is project architect and R&P Oak Hill is general contractor. The project is expected to be ready for tenants late next year.
Neighborhood stakeholders can check out the University District Community Development Association’s (udcda) website for information on how to help further revitalize the area.