A pair of Buffalo projects that would turn abandoned school buildings into a 53 market-rate apartments are getting tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.
The IDA on Wednesday approved more than $173,000 in tax incentives for both projects, which are being developed by the Frizlen Group and a group that includes local businessmen Michael Joseph, Jordan Levy and Ronald Schreiber.
One project would convert two school buildings that are part of the St. Thomas Aquinas Church complex at 31 Tamarack St. in South Buffalo into 32 market-rate apartments as part of a $4.6 million project. The buildings, which have been empty since 2006, would be converted into apartments ranging from 476 square-feet to 1,160-square-feet and renting for $550 to $1,200 a month.
The second project, by the Frizlen Group, would convert the school building on the St. Rose of Lima Church campus at 1030 Parkside Ave. into 21 market-rate apartments. Ranging in size from 478-square-feet to 974-square-feet, they would rent for $700 to $1,250 a month, IDA officials said. The building has been vacant since 2007.
Each classroom would be turned into an individual apartment. In both projects, historic features, such as blackboards, entry doors and wood flooring, would be kept and restored, said Karen Fiala, the IDA’s assistant treasurer.
Both projects also would be eligible for property tax breaks under a separate program administered by the City of Buffalo. While the IDA generally does not grant tax breaks to market-rate housing projects, it will provide incentives to housing developments that involve the reuse of buildings that have been vacant for more than three years.