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Renovation complete at building on corner of Tupper and Washington streets

A two-story commercial building on the corner of Tupper and Washington streets now has five loft apartments upstairs, after a $1 million renovation by developer and State Sen. Chris Jacobs.

Jacobs, owner of Avalon Development, acquired the 9,870-square-foot brick building at 12 Tupper four years ago from Hal Leader of Printing Prep for $550,000, and took his time evaluating options. He eventually chose to gut and convert the second floor to residential space, and all five one-bedroom units were leased within two months – mostly to tenants affiliated with the nearby Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

"We're really pleased," said Jacobs. "I'm very excited with how quickly it leased up, and the tenants are very happy, so we view it as a success."

The first floor will remain retail and commercial, with New Buffalo Insurance Agency occupying half of it, and 3,000 square feet of space still available for lease. The building dates to 1920, so Jacobs used historic tax credits to finance the project.

This is the first and largest solo residential redevelopment in that block by Jacobs, who also owns six commercial and retail buildings on the nearby 700 block of Main Street, between Tupper and Goodell streets. He has two apartments at 678 Main, but his other apartment ventures involved partners – such as Paul Kolkmeyer and John Barry for the Birzon Building.

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