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First Look: Mt. Aaron Village

Mt. Aaron Missionary Baptist Church is seeking to redevelop 19 vacant East Side parcels located along Genesee, Adams, and Grey streets into a 64-unit intergenerational affordable housing complex. A three-story apartment building is proposed along Genesee Street, 12 three-bedroom townhomes would be built along Grey Street and five three-bedroom townhomes and on-site parking are proposed at the interior of the site.

ReGen Advisors LLC is providing development support to the project. Stieglitz Snyder Architecture is providing architectural and planning services and Tredo Engineers is providing civil engineering services. The project will use Housing Trust Fund monies and nine percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits, both through NYS HCR.

Pending approvals, construction would begin in March 2018 and is targeted for completion in May 2019.

From the Project Application to the Planning Board:

Apartment Building
The larger apartment building will have a mixture of One Bedroom and Two Bedroom units. The main floor will have a community room, other support spaces, (8) one bedroom apartments and (6) two bedroom apartments. The second and third floors will have (10) One Bedroom and (8) Two Bedroom apartments. A central lobby connects the two wings of the building, with the smaller wing designated for senior residents. The building’s massing, disposition and setbacks are sympathetic to the existing neighborhood context and seek to be compatible neighbors with appropriate architectural character and a suitable material palate.

The building will wrap the corner of Genesee and Adams Streets with facades parallel to both streets. Primary exterior materials will be brick facing the streets, transitioning to Hardie board siding in the rear. Windows are proposed as single or double hung units, with an arched top detail at the third floor. At regular intervals, a portion of the facade is protruded to add scale and rhythm, and each bay provides a covered porch at the ground floor.

Additionally, decorative dormers are utilized to break up the roof line and to further enhance the scale and residential appearance of the building. The building massing changes at the main entrance and building lobbies, with a recessed facade and a smaller roof. The windows are much larger to provide greater transparency and to emphasize its function as public/ semi-public space. A large canopy represents the main building entrance. Proposed signage will assist visitors in wayfinding, while helping to brand the new residential community.

The townhomes are designed in a similar style, to complement the larger apartment building and provide a logical transition to the smaller scale residences on Grey and Adams Streets. The unit mix is currently conceived as an equal number of Two and Three Bedroom units (8 each), and may vary based on market demands.

The three bedroom units will be wider and taller, and clad in brick; whereas the two bedroom homes are clad with the Hardie board products. The brick is intended to match the brick on the larger building, and have similar window and sill detailing. The Hardie board siding will have varied colors that complement the brick but have enough contrast to create the appearance of individual row houses.

The roofs are also varied between the townhomes to add scale and distinction. The three bedroom units have a 12:12 pitch, with a darker colored architectural roof shingle, while the two bedroom units have a 6:12 pitch and lighter color roof shingle. Both have distinct dormer designs, which complement each other as well as the larger building. The two bedroom units incorporate styled eave brackets, similar to the larger building and many local architectural precedents.

Finally, each townhome has a generous front porch, but again there are distinctions between the two and three bedroom styles. While the railings are consistent, the columns are different, as well as the porch base. For example, the two bedroom homes have included brick in the porch base and steps, for both variety and local contextual reference. The front porch is not only a functional outdoor space for the occupants, but helps offer a friendly streetscape for local pedestrians and the community at large.

The project site is across from 656 Genesee Street, a two-story, 15,000 sq.ft. building that Hayes Constructions Services Corp. is renovating for its offices. The construction management and contracting firm is currently located at 902 Seneca Street at the eastern edge of the Larkin District.

Mt. Aaron’s project is also near two other large infill residential projects recently proposed.

Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, Inc. is planning an 84-unit senior housing complex at 418-28 Adams Street. The four-story building will be connected to the existing Westminster Settlement House structure located at 419 Monroe Street that will be renovated.

Stuart Alexander and Associates, SCG Development and Dr. Rhonda Ricks are planning a $48 million multi-phase, mixed-use development on the former Buffalo Forge site at Broadway and Mortimer Street. The Forge will include 159-unit mixed income apartments as well as 25 townhomes available for homeownership.

Another project is anticipated nearby. The former Pollack & Blakemore furniture store location at 574 Broadway recently sold. Its new owner is said to have exciting plans for the historic site.

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Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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