Architect and developer Steven J. Carmina's latest downtown project got a financial boost this week, as the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. authorized the underwriting of a $750,000 low-interest loan to support a mixed-use renovation at the corner of Michigan Street and Broadway in downtown Buffalo.
Carmina and a group of investors want to take a cluster of deteriorating historic structures in the Michigan Avenue African American Heritage Corridor and convert them into 18 apartments, a full-service restaurant and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. The $6.8 million project is aimed at meeting the need for workforce housing and will include 16 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom units.
The building will also include rent-free space for the local chapter of the NAACP, as well as some additional possible space for a bakery and a distillery. There will be 11 indoor and up to six surface parking spaces.
Located at 163-167 Broadway, 171-173 Broadway and 60 Nash Street, the structures have been declining for years. Construction is slated to begin in late 2017 and continue through early 2018.
The loan would come from the Buffalo Building Reuse Project, which is administered by BUDC but underwritten by the New York Business Development Corp. The investor group will also seek state and federal historic tax credits, state Housing Finance Agency credits, adaptive re-use tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, and other assistance.
The investors acquired the properties at auction in September 2015, paying $410,000. Besides Carmina, the group includes developer J. Roger Trettel, Bison Electrical Services President Joseph P. Picone and four others.