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Lender provides $1 million loan to East Village Lofts project

A New York City-based nonprofit mortgage lender that specializes in supporting affordable multifamily apartment redevelopment has provided a $1 million permanent loan for developer Eran Epstein's East Village Lofts project on Buffalo's East Side.

The Community Preservation Corporation said it closed on the loan for the newly renovated mixed-use building at 937 Broadway, as part of its "commitment to provide financing for affordable multifamily housing in Buffalo."

The project, developed by Epstein's E Square Capital and his Long Island-based partner, Christopher Gerhart, consists of 42 low-income apartments and 4,000 square feet of commercial space in a former light manufacturing and warehouse facility. All of the apartments and commercial space have been leased.

Located in the Broadway-Fillmore area, the vacant four-story building was redeveloped in cooperation with the New York State Housing Trust Fund and Homes for Working Families program. Epstein, owner and principal of E Square, and Gerhart, founder and president of CWG Development Associates, a full-service real estate development firm specializing in affordable and supportive housing, are the co-managers of the property.

Founded in 1974, Community Preservation Corporation has invested more than $8 billion in more than 144,000 housing units, including more than $300 million for nearly 8,000 housing units in the Buffalo area since 1996 -- with almost half in the city itself. Those projects include Ellicott Lofts, Holy Family Senior Apartments, Sycamore Village and 800 Main Street.

"This loan coincides with CPC beginning its 16th year in making a significant impact on Buffalo's affordable residential market, a record for which we take great pride," said Nick Petragnani, CPC's senior vice president and regional director for Central and Western New York.