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New Williamsville upscale apartments, retail building to open in late spring

The upscale apartments in a three-story building now nearing completion on Main Street in Williamsville will feature 8-foot-high doors, quartz countertops and a second head in every shower meant to reproduce the effect of rainfall.

There are 20 apartments in the Lymstone Lofts, located at 5933 Main St. across from Williamsville South High School, and amenities like these are why Bevilacqua Development LP plans to charge monthly rents ranging from $1,600 for a one-bedroom unit to up to $2,800 for a two-bedroom unit, depending on the size and room layout.

"There's pretty strong demand, I believe, for residential housing in the village, and there's not a lot of new supply in that area," CEO Jonathan Bevilacqua said.

The apartments are located on the second and third floors of the Lymstone Lofts and should be ready for tenants by mid to late May, Bevilacqua said. They will open just ahead of the retail space on the first floor of the roughly 56,000-square-foot building.

Bevilacqua has found two tenants for the four retail spaces in the building, which straddles the Amherst-Williamsville line. Lloyd Taco is opening a second Lloyd Taco Factory location there, as the company revealed in a holiday postcard to its fans.

And Woodhouse Spa, a national chain, is opening a franchise full-day spa, Bevilacqua said. The developer still is seeking retailers for two spaces.

Bevilacqua said construction on the retail space will begin this spring. The Lloyd's space should be ready by June and the spa should be ready by July.

Cushman & Wakefield Pyramid Brokerage handled the deal on behalf of the spa. This is one of seven leases on Main Street in Williamsville, or just outside the village borders, the firm has closed on in the past six months, said associate broker David L. Schiller.

"Main Street is getting stronger as 'downtown Amherst,'" Schiller said.

Bevilacqua, which is serving as developer and general contractor on Lymstone Lofts, took over in 2015 from the project's original developer, Dr. Lawrence N. Teruel, a physician from Arizona, whose father owned the site for many years. It was Teruel who initially proposed building the three-story structure to replace the one-story, dilapidated commercial structure that had long sat at that location in the village.

Williamsville Mayor Brian Kulpa supported the project and once called the previous building on the 1.7-acre parcel a "single-story dungeon of retail."

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency approved $930,000 in tax breaks for the $9.2 million project in November 2015. Retail and market-rate housing projects typically are not eligible for incentives, and two board members questioned the appropriateness of granting tax breaks so that a developer of luxury apartments can earn a larger profit.

But IDA officials pointed out at the time that the development was more costly for Bevilacqua to take on because the site was a brownfield, and the retail portion of the project is a small enough piece of the overall project that tax breaks are permissible. Furthermore, the tax breaks do not apply to the retail stores.

The Lymstone Lofts are in the heart of Williamsville, within walking distance of other stores and restaurants and with the Erie Community College North Campus about five blocks to the east. The building is flush with Main Street, with off-street parking in the rear. There are 14 garage parking spots and 14 storage units within the building available for lease.

Every apartment unit has 10-foot ceilings and its own balcony. Bevilacqua said the developer has a waiting list for the units and will start signing leases with tenants within the next 30 days. He said he expects the apartments – some with fireplaces and built-in cabinetry, all with overhead rain showers – will appeal to empty nesters, professionals and millennials.

The apartments are drywalled and painted and crews over the next 30 to 60 days will install furnishings.

While documents filed with the IDA show a project cost of $9.2 million, Bevilacqua on Monday gave The Buffalo News a range of $8 million to $10 million for the final estimate.

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