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Reuse of School No. 78 Proposed

A Rochester-based non-profit focused on helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is seeking to purchase and redevelop former School No. 78 located at 321 Olympic Avenue.  The City is proposing to sell the three-story building and 1.8 site to CDS Monarch, Inc. and partner Western New York Independent Living.  The partnership was one of five proposals the City received after a Request for Proposals was released.

From the Common Council Committee on Community Development agenda:

CDS Monarch, Inc. highlighted their competencies in carrying out projects of similar scope in Rochester, NY and their goal is to achieve the same results in Buffalo. They propose to convert the former school building into forty-eight (48) one and two-bedroom apartments. Thirty-eight (38) units are intended for families earning between 50% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and ten (10) units are reserved for individuals with developmental disabilities earning up to 30% of AMI. The plan also includes on-site offices for CDS and WNYIL, a community room, computer room, exercise room and tenant storage areas (the “Project”). WNYIL will be providing on-site programs and services for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The total project costs are estimated at $16.4 Million. This amount includes the minimum purchase price of $450,000 or higher, based upon a real estate appraisal to be obtained and paid for by the Developer (“Purchase Price”). The Developer will be applying for state and federal funding for the Project, including but not limited to capital funding from NYS Office of Housing and Community Renewal, Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investment, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits (HTC), NYS Housing Trust Funds and permanent financing from NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. The Developer agrees that there will be no financial funding requests from the City of Buffalo, except for real property tax abatement from the City of Buffalo in the form of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreement (PILOT) for qualified housing developments. The Developer further agrees to secure financing by May 2019 and close by September 2019. Developer anticipates construction of the Project will be completed by the end of December 2020.

CDS Monarch was incorporated in 1977 and opened its first community residence in August of 1978. Today, CDS Monarch fulfills transitional and employment needs of more than 1,700 people with developmental disabilities and their families.

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Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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