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Plan for loft apartments in former Kenmore Masonic lodge approved

Plans for loft apartments in a vacant former Masonic lodge in Kenmore got a green light Tuesday from village officials.

The two-story brick building at 173 Delaware Road, next door to the former Kenmore Middle School, was built in the 1920s and used for assemblies.

The space – more than 12,000 square feet – includes assembly areas on the upper and lower floors, with stages and vaulted ceilings 16 feet high on the upper floor.

The board during its work session heard from Brian J. Kulpa and Michelle Ezzo of the architecture and engineering firm Clark Patterson Lee, who brought examples of the porcelain, quartz and ceramic to be used in the apartments.

“They firmed up what type of materials they’re going to use inside the building,” said Mayor Patrick Mang. “From the looks and sounds of it, it’s going to be some very nice, high-end apartments. We’re very pleased with that.”

The building was vacated about 12 years ago and the basement flooded, but it was purchased late last year for $175,000 by Gregory J. Rodems of Orchard Park’s Rodems Construction under the name Delaware Lodge LLC.

“They’re keeping a lot of the interior – the stage, the vaulted ceilings,” Mang said. “They’re going to be some neat apartments in there when they’re done.”

At a Sept. 6 hearing on the project, residents who live near the site expressed concerns about sufficient parking for apartment tenants.

So the board asked Kulpa and Ezzo to return Tuesday for follow-up questions and more specifics.

Plans call for 10 parking spaces, but the developer may seek additional leased parking at the neighboring school or a church across the street.

“Our concern is to make sure the residents are happy with the project and it doesn’t impact them too much,” Mang said.

The board approved the developer’s application for a planned unit development and he may now apply for building permits.

It’s the third planned unit development approved by the board in recent years. The former Washington School at One Delaware Road is now luxury apartments, with a SPoT Coffee shop and Mexican restaurant to open soon on the ground floor.

And a plan to turn the former St. Paul’s School on Victoria Boulevard into a “faith-built community” of apartments was approved in July.

email: jpopiolkowski@buffnews.com

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