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Building Update: Three parish schools becoming apartments

Building Update is a regular feature highlighting progress on development projects throughout the region.

Project name: Parish school conversions

Address: 1030 Parkside Ave., 31 Tamarack St. and 17 Mineral Springs Road

Developer: Karl Frizlen

Cost: $13.6 million

Description: Conversions of St. Rose of Lima, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Teresa’s parish schools into 90 apartments

Completion date: August 2016, November 2016, February 2017

Lowdown: Two former Catholic church schools in Buffalo that are being converted into apartments by Karl Frizlen are well on their way to completion over the next few months, while a third is now getting underway, as the architect and developer adds a total of 90 units to the city’s inventory.

Frizlen is redeveloping the former parish schools of St. Rose of Lima in North Buffalo and St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Teresa’s in South Buffalo. All three are historic buildings, so the projects were eligible for tax credits.

The 26,000-square-foot St. Rose at 1030 Parkside Ave., now dubbed The School Lofts @ Parkside, will have a mixture of 21 one- and two-bedroom units, with rents ranging from $900 to $1,200 per month. Each classroom in the building, which was built in 1926, is being reused as a loft apartment, with 12-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, large original windows, doors and moldings and even original slate blackboards. Work is about halfway done on the $3.8 million project, with completion planned by Aug. 1, and about 75 percent of the 21 luxury loft units are already leased, Frizlen said.

In South Buffalo, the former St. Thomas school at 432 Abbott Road is now The School Lofts @ Abbott, at 31 Tamarack St., with 32 one- and two-bedroom luxury loft apartments, ranging in size from 750 to 1,100 square feet. Like St. Rose, each classroom in the building – constructed in 1926 – is now an apartment, with similar features as the other former parish school. Work on the $5.2 million project is 25 percent complete, with an opening targeted for Nov. 1, and about a quarter of the units are leased.

Finally, Frizlen’s team is starting work on the former St. Teresa’s School at 17 Mineral Springs Road in South Buffalo. The 42,000-square-foot building, which dates to at least 1911, will be turned into 37 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $900 to $1,000 per month. The $4.6 million project, which includes 37 parking spaces, will be called The School Lofts @ Mineral Springs. It has been approved by the city Planning Board, and crews began construction a month ago, Frizlen said. It’s slated to be done by February 2017.

Jonathan D. Epstein