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Building Buffalo: Apartments with a view of the Peace Bridge

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

Project name: 960 Busti

Address: 960 Busti Ave.

Developer: Ellicott Development Co.

Cost: $6.415 million

Government assistance: $339,000 in ECIDA tax breaks, $800,000 loan from Buffalo Billion fund, $1.2 million in historic tax credits

Description: Adaptive re-use of 56,000-square-foot, four-story former warehouse into 18 apartments and 27,000 square feet of commercial space

Completion date: June 2016

Lowdown: Another West Side warehouse conversion is entering its final stretch, as Ellicott Development Co.’s 960 Busti prepares to welcome its first tenants next month.

The developer is renovating a four-story former warehouse into a $6.4 million mixed-use complex, equally split between 18 apartments on the upper two floors and 27,000 square feet of commercial space on the first two levels.

The apartments will be a mixture of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and even three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 850 to 1,750 square feet each. Rents will vary between $1,000 and $2,000 per month. The first two floors will contain about 12,000 to 13,000 square feet of commercial space on each level. The building will also feature 30 parking spaces in the basement, with an access ramp on the south side.

The 56,000-square-foot facility, which overlooks the Niagara River near the Peace Bridge, was originally constructed in 1922 for Buffalo General Electric Co., and was later used as the home for Multiform Desiccants. It was last used in 1995, and has been vacant for the past 20 years, before Ellicott acquired it and began the conversion.

The project received $339,000 in sales and mortgage recording tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, plus an $800,000 loan through a Buffalo Billion loan fund. Ellicott also plans to seek $1.2 million in historic tax credits.

Work is nearly completed on the upper two floors, with the model unit and six others already completed. Officials already began pre-leasing the apartments, but no leases have been signed yet for the commercial space, despite “a lot of interest,” said Ellicott Director of Development Tom Fox.