A group of business partners has purchased a historic Delaware Avenue mansion from Canisius High School and plans to convert the building to luxury apartments, the group's lawyer said.
Foster Manor LLC paid $850,000 for the gated property at 891 Delaware Ave., near Bryant Street, which includes the century-old mansion, two carriage houses and more than 100 parking spaces.
"It lends itself to a grandeur that, hopefully, my client will capture," said Edward C. Cosgrove, the group's lawyer and a former Erie County district attorney.
Canisius received the Foster mansion property as a gift in 2006 but could not find a way to fit the buildings into its future plans, because of its distance from the campus, and put it on the market the next year.
The high school initially put an asking price of $3.3 million on the mansion before lowering it to $2.2 million and finally accepting less than $1 million.
Canisius President John Knight and Chris Malachowski, the Hunt Commercial Real Estate agent handling the listing, declined to comment on the sale.
Cosgrove, who would not identify the investors behind Foster Manor LLC, said the group intends to convert the mansion and carriage houses to luxury apartments and, perhaps, condominiums. The buildings total 19,794 square feet on one acre of land.
Plans are still in the early stages, but the group hopes to be ready for tenants to move in within a year, he said.
"That's really a special place," Cosgrove. "Our group is happy to purchase it at the price we paid."
The sale to Foster Manor LLC comes one year after the school reached an agreement to sell the property to Greenleaf & Co., which planned to use one building for its headquarters and to lease the rest. That deal, announced by Hunt in a news release, later fell through.
Canisius received the property as a gift from Michael DeRose, owner of DeRose Food Brokers, which had used the mansion as its headquarters.
It was built in the early 1900s as a residence for businessman Orin Foster, whose family operated Foster Thayer Pharmaceuticals.