A significant development project on Hertel Avenue has reached completion. The $7 million redevelopment of a former brownfield is a big win for North Buffalo. The mixed-use project (affordable housing and retail), supported by the Better Buffalo Fund, includes underground parking.
“Our efforts to build back a better New York depend on projects that bring new opportunity to residents and businesses alike,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project, like many others supported through targeted investments from the Better Buffalo Fund, is helping to transform a once vacant site into a vibrant mixed-use space that will bring new vitality to an area of the city that is on the rise.”
“We not only want to provide every Western New Yorker with the dignity of a roof over their head, but also the keys to opportunity,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The completion of new commercial and affordable housing in the Hertel Avenue Business District is yet another important step in Buffalo’s post-pandemic economic comeback story.”
More than 85 percent of the residential units are leased, with the remaining expected to be filled by early fall.
The 1585 Hertel Avenue site, formerly a gas station, was developed by John Daly, a managing principal and engineer at Trautman Associates and principal of O’Dalaigh Real Estate LLC, and his wife, Ruthanne. The building is home to 34 apartments, as well as two commercial tenants thus far – [Sweat] Society and Marianna Bridal. We featured [Sweat] Society in this article.
As for Marianna Bridal, this is great retailer for the street, as weddings are big business, and according to a number of local brides, this will be an incredible resource for the entire region to access. With limited bridal resources in the city, many brides-to-be have been heading to Rochester and other cities to access their needs.
A third tenant – a healthcare business – has also signed up for a commercial space.
Developers John and Ruthann Daly said, “We are delighted to announce that we are finally done with construction. We want to thank everyone who stuck with us through the pandemic to help us reach this point today. That list includes tenants, contractors, lenders, government officials, the community -especially the North Buffalo Organization and the Hertel Business Association -and last, but certainly not least, Empire State Development. They have all helped bring this project to fruition. We accomplished what we set out to do: transform an environmental liability into a community asset. The building has been well received by the community as evidenced by our rapid lease up on both the residential and retail fronts. Our tenants are already adding to the vitality of this neighborhood, helping it grow stronger.”
The development includes:
- Apartments range in size between 500 square feet and 1,055 square feet (priced at or below market rate)
- One unit that is ADA compliant
- Partial green roof that can be enjoyed by tenants
- Bike storage
The project was also made possible thanks to a $500,000 infill grant from the Better Buffalo Fund via the North Buffalo Organization. The project leveraged local private funds and continues the revitalization of the Hertel Avenue Business District, according to North Buffalo Organization Board of Directors Vice President Patricia Banning.
“This construction project, at a well-traveled North Buffalo intersection, is a major accomplishment and will add significant economic and social value to our community,” said Banning. “1585 Hertel Avenue is bringing more people and businesses to North Buffalo while also catalyzing other local residential and commercial development. All of this adds to the vibrancy needed for a successful community.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “As we move forward from the pandemic, the Better Buffalo Fund continues to be a catalyst for change, and in a must-visit neighborhood that showcases Buffalo at its best. Thanks to strategic investment, residents moving into the new affordable apartments on Hertel Avenue will have access to a vibrant district that has reinvented itself one building, one store, and one restaurant at a time.”
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The state has made a concerted and effective effort to spur the ongoing resurgence in Buffalo neighborhoods. This new $7 million development through the Buffalo Main Streets Initiative, the result of a public-private collaboration, is a highly visible reminder that transit-oriented and mixed-use development is a game-changer in these communities. The site of a former gas station, now retail space and apartments, is clear evidence that we are now, and have been, hard at work to keep progress building in Buffalo.”
Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “Once again the Better Buffalo Fund is fueling a game-changing project in our city’s neighborhoods and along our commercial corridors. Transforming an idle gas station into a mixed-use building with new affordable housing and commercial space continues the ongoing renaissance on Hertel Avenue. I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development for aiding this $7 million project with a $500,000 grant, enabling private investors to move forward, and continuing the revitalization of this key Buffalo business district.”