Work Starts on School Conversion Project in Riverside

Work started to convert former School #60 on Ontario Street into 68 apartments.  Riverside Apartments is being developed by DePaul Properties, a Rochester based client services company.  Key funding for the project was a $3.25 million award from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. The project will create affordable housing, while creating over 350 local construction jobs and 40 new, permanent jobs. The funds awarded by the WNYREDC will generate more than $21 million in economic activity for the region. 
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Riverside Apartments puts a vacant historic property back to use as a vibrant home for Buffalo residents that will spark growth and revitalize the Riverside neighborhood. Awards made through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils are stimulating local economies throughout New York as more and more projects come to life around the state. I congratulate DePaul Properties, the City of Buffalo, all of our partners–and especially the people who will soon make Riverside their home.” 

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Riverside Apartments will be developed and managed by DePaul Properties, which will transform the vacant, historic Public School No. 60 in the Black Rock Riverside neighborhood of Buffalo into affordable, energy-efficient apartments for low-income people and those with special needs. Forty five units will house NYS Office of Mental Health consumers and will receive ongoing support services from Living Opportunities of DePaul, Inc. 
All units will be equipped with sustainable features including Energy Star-rated appliances and lighting, water-conserving fixtures, and low or no VOC paints and green label certified flooring. Amenities include common laundry facilities, computer lab, and outdoor garden space.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “This $20 million renovation will not only provide much needed housing for Riverside residents, but will also create many good construction jobs for our community. We worked closely with residents in the neighborhood to secure $1.5 million in city HOME funds, enabling this important affordable housing project, located in the heart of a vibrant residential neighborhood, to leverage the additional funding needed to move forward, including an award from New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Governor Cuomo’s Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.”
Gillian Conde, Vice-President of DePaul Key Housing said, “DePaul is very excited to see the community strengthen from investment into housing by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Western New York Regional Economic Council, as well as Buffalo’s Mayor Brown. Community renewal begins in our neighborhoods. The transformation of former PS #60 into affordable housing brings needed housing along with jobs and economic development into a neighborhood that has a committed and active community. Bringing this beautiful building back to life in this community is an excellent example of reinvestment and commitment to city of Buffalo and New Yorkers everywhere.”
Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. As part of that process, Riverside Apartments was awarded $3.25 million from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. In addition to an award from the WNYREDC, funding is provided by the New York State Office of Mental Health, Community Preservation Corporation, and the City of Buffalo. 
Buffalo North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. said, “It is projects such as these that speak to the continued viability and future resurgence of our neighborhood. My hope is that a project such as this will act as a catalyst for future developments. My thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, DePaul, and Mayor Brown for this significant investment in Riverside and its residents. Thanks also to the Black Rock Riverside Good Neighbor Planning Alliance and Rediscover Riverside for their tireless efforts on behalf of our community.”
Mary Ann Kedron, President of Black Rock Riverside Alliance said, “School 60 has been an important part of the Riverside Community for over 100 years. We are so pleased that through our hard work we could make others see this beautiful building as an ongoing community asset. We could not be more pleased that this building will once again house individuals from our community in a new progressive way. We wish to thank the Mayor, our Councilman, the city, state, and federal government for their support. We have learned that it takes strong partnerships to build strong communities.”
SWBR Architects is project architect and R & P Oak Hill is general contractor.  

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