Building Update is a regular feature highlighting progress on development projects throughout the region.
Project name: The Sinclair
Address: 465 Washington St., Buffalo
Developer: Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.
Cost: $16.04 million
Description: Conversion of former UB EOC building into apartments
Completion date: June 2016
Lowdown: Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. is plowing ahead with its ongoing conversion of the former University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center into The Sinclair, as crews rush to finish the project by early summer.
The Amherst-based developer, which acquired the six-story building in September 2014 for $2.34 million, is transforming it into a mixed-use building that will add to the downtown housing options. The 82,254-square-foot complex at 465 Washington St., at East Mohawk, was originally built in 1930 for use as a Remington Rand operations center, and later served as the home for the EOC for 40 years, until it moved in June 2013.
Plans by CJS Architects call for 45 one- and two-bedroom market-rate apartments, along with about 11,000 square feet of retail and commercial space over the first floor and lower level. Allpro Parking, a Ciminelli subsidiary, will be occupying about 7,000 square feet of the space on the first floor, and will move in by July 1. Officials said they are still talking to several other potential tenants for both the first-floor retail space and the lower-level commercial space.
The project is now 90 percent done, with workers finishing out the individual units and common areas. S.M. Hayes is overseeing construction, while Z Design and Ideas Interiors worked on the interior design. The project, which had previously been projected to finish by mid-April, is now expected to open by June 1. “As with most historic properties, you encounter some issues along the way that have to be creatively and wisely addressed,” project manager Amber Holycross said. “Sometimes that means a slight delay to make sure everything is done right.”
Already just over 25 percent of the units are pre-leased. Rates begin at $850 per month for a studio and range up to $2,300 for a two-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms. The new apartments will have granite countertops and either restored windows or new ones made with the same profile. The building will also included tenant storage, bike storage, a laundry room and a community room with a kitchen.
– Jonathan D. Epstein