by Agota Felhazi
original article appeared in Multi-Housing News
Once completed, the adaptive-reuse development will also house Western New York Veterans’ Housing Coalition’s corporate office.
Construction on School 75 Apartments, a 65-unit affordable and supportive housing community in Buffalo, N.Y., is now underway. Co-developers Western New York Veterans’ Housing Coalition and Norstar Development USA are behind the $29 million project designed around the adaptive reuse of a 1925-built former public school.
Located at 57 Howard St., the converted three-story building of Public School 75 will feature four studios, 41 one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom apartments. Thirty-three units will be set aside for veterans earning up to 30 percent of the area median income, while the rest of the apartments will be available to those earning up to 50 percent of AMI.
Taking shape on four adjoining vacant parcels, the project also includes the new construction of 18 single-family homes in two-bedroom configurations, with seven units serving those who earn 50 percent of AMI and 11 available to residents earning 60 percent of AMI.
Plans also call for a community room, a laundry room and an interior courtyard. Additionally, the project includes a nearly 3,000-square-foot commercial component, which will serve as WNYVHC’s new corporate office.
The development is in William-Emslie neighborhood, within 2 miles of downtown Buffalo, Sahlen Field and Red Jacket River Front Park. School 75 Apartments is anticipated to be fully complete in the third quarter of 2022. In August, just 2 miles north of the development, a partnership between People Inc. and Sinatra & Co. Real Estate opened Jefferson Avenue Apartments, another affordable community in Buffalo.
A Joint Effort
The New York State Homes and Community Renewal allocated both federal and state low-income housing tax credits that amount to $15.8 million in equity to the project, along with $4.1 million through its Supportive Housing Opportunity Program. An additional $580,000 will come from the Community Investment Fund.
Additional partners that are financially contributing to the development include the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, the City of Buffalo as well as The New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which allocated federal and state historic tax credits totaling $6.7 million in equity.
School 75 Apartments is part of the state’s $20 billion, multi-year housing plan, launched in 2017 and created to combat homelessness.