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A Toronto developer won the city's designation Thursday to build a six-story condominium building on Pearl Street.

The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency gave Robert C. Benia six months to complete plans for a $5 million project that includes 32 condominiums and first-floor retail space on a site behind Shea's Buffalo.

Benia said his next step will be assembling a marketing and construction team for his downtown project. He said he is confident he will obtain financing once his preparations are complete.

"Banks are not reluctant to lend to a well-conceived project," Benia said.

Laurence K. Rubin, commissioner of the Department of Community Development and vice chairman of the agency board, said the proposed project fits in well with the city's goals for downtown.

"It's a very exciting one for our downtown renaissance," Rubin said.

Benia said his company, RCB Developments, believes it has identified a market for the condominiums that consists mainly of younger officer workers, teachers and some students.

Condominiums will vary in size from one-bedroom, 650-square-foot units to two-bedroom units with 1,100 square feet on two levels. He said the least expensive condo is expected to sell for about $60,000.

The site for the building, 432-448 Pearl St., is currently a parking lot.

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