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Construction Watch: The Mattress Factory

The mixed-use conversion of a former bed manufacturing facility by developers Karl Frizlen and Jason Yots in Hamlin Park is well underway and moving toward completion before the end of the year. Known as “The Mattress Factory”, (Google Map) the historic rehabilitation project will have 34 apartments that will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units and offices for Preservation Studios, an historic preservation consulting firm run by Yots and his partners, Derek King and Mike Puma. Initial rents for the apartments are expected to range from $800 – $1400.

Construction on the $6 million project began in November 2016 and is expected to wrap-up by Fall of 2017. BRD Construction is handling the construction as the project’s general contractor. “So far, things have gone very smoothly with BRD and we expect to deliver the completed project on time and on budget,” noted Frizlen, who, in addition to his developer role, also is the project’s architect.

The original building on site had a permit filed for its construction on January 13, 1911 and was finished by December of that year. Under the ownership of Harvey Chadwick the building was utilized for the manufacture of bedding and mattresses, as well as the sanitation of bed feathers. Chadwick’s management allowed the company to became one of the largest manufacturers of mattresses in New York, handling mattresses and bed accessories such as: box springs, pillows, down quilts, and brass beds. A substantial addition was added in 1923 to the east of the original 1911 structure for expanded operations. The brick annex is architecturally unique for its rounded contour, which conformed to the capped Scajaquada Creek.  In 1939 the Otis Bed Manufacturing vacated the property at 170 Florida and the building was occupied by a number of different plastic producing firms such as Bernard Oishei’s and the DuBois Plastic Products Company.

With their Mattress Factory project well underway, Frizlen and Yots are turning their sights to Black Rock. The two recently announced that they will spend nearly $6 million to convert the former New York Central Black Rock Freight House on Tonawanda Street (Google Map) into a mixed-use project that includes apartments and commercial space. The principals of BRD Construction, Michael and Dennis Masters, will join Frizlen and Yots as co-sponsors for the project, which is expected to start construction by Spring 2018, with completion to occur by the year end.

Written by Mike Puma

Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

View All Articles by Mike Puma
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  • ILikeBuf

    A new floor! Oh if those walls could talk.

    • Mike_Puma

      Actually, it is the original red oak flooring from 1923 just refinished. Came out amazing

      • MegRobertson

        Mike, any idea who we could contact for rental info for the fall? Looks awesome.

        • Mike_Puma

          Jason Frizlen at the Frizlen Group is the property manager so you can give him a call at their office, 881-0046

  • WNYer

    Great Project. Is the street scheduled to get milled and paved? Sure looks like it needs it.

    • Mike_Puma

      My block club has been asking that same questions for decades before I even bought my house on the street. Here’s hoping!

  • Billybobn

    Happy to see this project come to fruition! Hamlin Park is full of opportunities and dedicated residents. Keep ’em coming! 🙂

  • Ian

    BRO – your new(ish) site has this great geotag feature to your articles and you use the feature sparingly. Why is that?

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    I like the casual reference to oneself in this article, as if it were just any other name

  • OldFirstWard

    Why is there a street light pole in the middle of the lawn?

    I am curious about ROI. With rental income at about $500,000 year it would take about 12 years to repay the construction loans. Then there is the purchase price of the building, property management fees, taxes, utilities, and other maintenance costs, etc… How long before it becomes a profitable venture for multiple partners and how does the tax credits kick in to reduce the costs? Is it spread out or in a lump sum? How difficult was it to secure financing for the project?

    • Mike_Puma

      There is a wonderful linear park that runs behind the building, which only exists because the Scajaquada was capped in the 1920s. The streetlights throughout Hamlin Park are highway grade lights, which are totally inappropriate for the historic district status of the neighborhood. The park is treated in the same fashion, but for the time being I would rather have these ugly monsters than no lights at all.

      As far as your financial questions go, I have most of the answers to them, but I’m not sure this is the proper venue to discuss them. You may want to reach out to Jay and see if he would be willing to share that information with you.