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State funding sought to convert former North Tonawanda school into apartments

A Buffalo developer has won city approval to convert a former North Tonawanda school into 80 apartments that would cater to senior citizens.

Savarino Development received city Planning Board approval and a rezoning in December for the building at 621 Payne Ave., closed since 2004.

The three-story, 113,000-square-foot building opened in 1925 as North Tonawanda High School. It later became North Tonawanda Junior High, Payne Junior High and finally Lowry Middle School.

The company is applying for state and federal historic preservation tax credits and is seeking funding from New York State Homes and Community Renewal for $23.8 million project, said Kevin Hays, director of development at Savarino.

Once the funding is in hand, the project would take about a year to complete.

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