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Plans unveiled for 65 apartments at Richardson Olmsted Campus

The next rehabilitation on the Richardson Olmsted Campus will consist of 65 moderate-income apartments in two historic buildings.

Savarino Cos., the developer of the apartments, which are connected to the eastern wing of Hotel Henry, gave the community its first glimpse of the preliminary plans Thursday at a meeting at nearby SUNY Buffalo State.

There was an invitation to submit suggestions for naming the project – and the Richardson Center Corp. also sought input on how to increase mobility on the 42-acre site.

"We know we can't do this alone, we know it takes a community like you," said Mark Mortenson, president of the Richardson Center Corp.

Savarino is planning 47 apartments in one building, and 18 in another, said project development manager Courtney S. Cox.

Most would be one-bedroom apartments, and nine would be two bedrooms. One building was the male dining hall, and the other was a male patient building on the historic campus.

The apartments are designed to attract people working in the arts, design, entertainment, culinary and media professions, Cox said. The amenities in the buildings would include indoor secure bicycle storage, fitness areas and dog washing stations. The buildings also would include workshop areas for artists or artisans, he said.

There are common areas in the buildings, and the company is looking at a foldable partition system, to create flexible corridor workspaces.

"We’ve got an abundance of common space we have to find creative ways to make productive use out of," Cox said.

Rents would range from $700 to $1,000 for one-bedroom apartments, and $850 to $1,200 for two bedrooms, he said.

The company plans to bring the project before the city's Planning Board in late spring.

Construction would start in 2021, and the apartments could be ready to lease in the fall of 2022, Cox said.

Christine Krolewicz, manager of operations and planning for Richardson, detailed plans to encourage public accessibility on the campus.

"We are very committed to encouraging those other modes of transportation," she said.

Parking has been removed from the south side of the complex to reflect Frederick Law Olmsted's vision of the South Lawn, and small "pocket" parking lots are planned on the north side of the campus, she said.

A parking space will be converted into a Reddy Bikeshare rack this spring, and the Richardson Olmsted Campus will seek input from community organizations to create a pedestrian and bicycle plan for the area, Krolewicz said.

Richardson and Savarino are looking for the community to submit suggestions for naming the apartment project, by emailing info@richardson-olmsted.com.

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