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Work starts at former Buffalo School 63 to create 44 lofts

A New York City low-income housing developer this week kicked off its latest project in Buffalo, seeking to convert a former public school into 44 loft apartments.

CB-Emmanuel Realty LLC broke ground on its effort to turn the 72,435-square-foot former Buffalo School 63 and Campus North School into a residential apartment complex. The apartments will be geared to students and employees at University at Buffalo, as well as residents working in downtown Buffalo or on the medical campus.

“Buffalo is in the midst of a true revival as abandoned buildings continue to be revitalized to accommodate the city’s growing population,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement marking the project's start. “The Lofts at University Heights will add to this momentum by creating construction jobs and helping to improve the city’s neighborhoods with quality housing for the residents of Buffalo.”

The new Lofts at University Heights would include a mixture of one- and two-bedroom apartments, with a small community room and tenant amenities, as well as 59 parking spaces on the 2.08-acre site. Two of the units will be two-story apartments.

The $16 million transformation of the long-vacant building at 91 Lisbon Avenue will be funded by a $2 million Better Buffalo Fund grant, $1.2 million in HOME funds, as well as state and federal historic tax credits. Additionally, New York State Homes and Community Renewal awarded $7.9 million in tax-exempt bonds, $430,000 in federal low-income housing tax credits, $200,000 in state low-income housing tax credits and nearly $1.6 million in Housing Trust Fund New Construction Capital Funds.

The project was designed by Carmina Wood Morris and Watts Architecture & Engineering.

"The Lofts at University Heights are a symbol of Buffalo’s renaissance at the neighborhood level, which is just as critical to our economic success as large-scale industrial projects,” said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended the groundbreaking event.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com

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