Infill development in Buffalo, particularly market-rate detached homes, has been virtually non-existent. Where it has been built, Sycamore Village on the near East Side; Colvin Estates, Rebecca Park, and Main LaSalle Place in North Buffalo; and Walden Woods near the Cheektowaga border, have all been panned as being ‘too suburban.’ Subsidized homes, mostly built on the near east side and in the Fruit Belt, Masten Park, and Cold Springs neighborhoods have been called ‘vinyl victorians’. Not a term of endearment.
A pair of projects in Ohio are good examples of contextual infill design. The first is a five-unit market-rate project on Fergus Street in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood. D-HAS Architecture Planning & Design partnered with Great Traditions Land & Development Company for the project, which is part of D-HAS’s City Series.
The two- and three-bedroom houses have detached two-car garages and range in size from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet. Prices start in the upper-$200,000 range.
Homes feature full basements, 10′ first floor ceilings, solid core doors, Pella windows, 9’ second floor ceilings, brick and siding exterior designs, a private outdoor courtyard, and covered front porch.
There is an option to add a third floor and an accessory dwelling unit that would expand the house to 3,000 square feet and raise the price to about $350,000.
In Columbus’ Milo-Grogan neighborhood, Homeport is building 33 new one and two-story affordable homes. The private, non-profit organization has provided housing for thousands of low-income people in the central Ohio area since 1987. The homes are primarily financed with private investment leveraged by Federal tax credits.
Justin Metzler, Milo-Grogan project manager for Homeport, said Homeport, through Wallick Communities, will be leasing the three-bedroom, 1½ to 2-bath, 1,400 square foot homes in Milo by fall.
The homes will be rented to individuals and families who earn no more than 60 percent of the average median income. That would be $41,760 for a family of four based on Franklin County median income of $69,600. Almost all the properties Homeport will be building on were purchased from Columbus and Franklin County land banks.
Construction will be designed for LEED Homes Silver Certification, a U.S. Green Building Council standard that addresses energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality and use of recyclable materials.
Renters can accumulate a $1,000 annual credit toward the purchase price of their home, which they have the option of buying once the home is 15 years old. Homeport assists renters through the home buying process and provides down payment assistance, mortgage financing assistance, and homebuyer education courses.