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Planning Board likes third giant apartment conversion near Larkinville

Plans to convert a third major concrete warehouse on the edge of Larkinville into an apartment complex gained steam Monday night, as Buffalo Planning Board members voiced support for the $39 million project. They cannot approve it until a public comment period is over.

KCG Development of Indianapolis wants to redevelop the former A&P Warehouse at 545 Swan St. into the AP Lofts at Larkinville, with 146 one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents geared to both lower-income “workforce housing” and market-rate tenants.

The eight-story, 238,000-square-foot building would feature apartments on the upper seven floors, while the giant first floor is tall enough to be split into two floors of indoor parking. KCG also plans to cut a big hole through the center of the building to create an inner courtyard, allowing it to put apartments around the interior core, said architect Steven Carmina.

The apartments would range from 750 to 825 square feet for the 82 one-bedroom apartments and from 900 to 1,150 square feet for the 64 two-bedrooom units.

There are also plans for about 5,800 square feet of commercial or retail space. The building will have bike and tenant storage, and additional outside parking, for a total of 145 spaces.

The building is adjacent to the successful residential conversions at 500 and 550 Seneca St., which gave the out-of-town developers more confidence to proceed. “It’s a great market. There’s no question about it, having come out and seen the market, especially the Larkin District and the momentum that’s going on there,” said Anthony Ceroy of KCG.

KCG took over the project from Miller Valentine Group of Cincinnati, which had planned a similar venture until two of its principals left to form KCG. The new firm bought the warehouse from Mesmer Refrigeration, and must seek fresh city approvals.

Once approved, KCG still has to finalize project financing and construction documents, but hopes to begin work in late July or early August, with completion 15 months later by fall 2017. The project will utilize a combination of historic tax credits, federal and state housing tax credits, middle-income housing funds administered by the state and tax-exempt bond financing.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com