City officials are evaluating whether to grant low-interest loans of $750,000 each to a pair of proposals to redevelop the McCarley Gardens housing project near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and convert the historic C.W. Miller Livery building in downtown Buffalo into a second Emerson School of Hospitality campus.
The projects by Sinatra & Company Real Estate and McGuire Development Group are under review as part of the Buffalo Building Re-Use Project, a loan program administered by the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. to encourage redevelopment of existing but underused buildings in the city's core. They are the latest in a string of initiatives that have received similar funding from the loan fund backed by several banks.
The projects total more than $70 million in investment in the city.
Sinatra plans to renovate 135 housing units and build 15 new units, creating "an affordable urban neighborhood reminiscent of other quintessential Buffalo neighborhoods," according to a BUDC summary. Construction on the $40 million project to transform the 40-year-old community would begin in summer 2018, with completion in summer 2019, but officials will use the 15 new apartments as "swing" units so that no one would be permanently displaced. The project is located at 818 Michigan Ave. and 172 Goodell St.
Meanwhile, McGuire – in partnership with developer Mark Croce – wants to undertake a $30.45 million adaptive reuse of the former horse stable building at 73-75 W. Huron to add a second Emerson site, which will educate and train 500 students in hospitality fields. The second location will back up against the school's current location on West Chippewa Street to create a uniform campus. It also will be linked to Croce's Curtiss Hotel.
The 80,000-square-foot, six-story building will include a public restaurant space, a private dining room, freight service elevators, distribution space for supplies, a banquet and special-event space, food preparation and serving space, a bakery and other school features such as a gymnasium, lockers and classrooms. There will also be one or two residential apartments.