Swan Street Project Incentives Approved by ECIDA

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency today approved $591,000 in sales and mortgage recording tax abatements for Schneider Design Architects, PC for its $13.6 million adaptive reuse project at 145 and 149 Swan Street downtown.

Schneider, which has completed two conversions of vacant historic buildings into residential and commercial space, plans to renovate the mostly empty five-story, 50,000-square-foot structure at 149 Swan St., as well as the neighboring 30,000-square-foot, four story building at 145 Swan St.

145 Swan St. was built in 1908 for Witkop & Holmes grocers, while 149 Swan St. was built in 1896 for the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Company. 

Dubbed ‘Apartments at the HUB’, the project will feature 50 upscale apartments, which will occupy 96 percent of the redone space.

The project will also make room for the WNY Bicycle Center, which will include a bike retailer and bike storage for tenants and downtown cycle commuters, a café, fitness center and office space.

A roof-top patio garden and highly-landscaped, green space areas are also in the plans.

The mixed-use project, set to debut in 2014, will create five jobs.

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17 comments
RPreskop

This is an outstanding rehabilitation project. Both Swan Street buildings are beautiful and well worth preserving and renovating into new uses. The Bike Shop from East Aurora setting up shop in the historic brick building is a definite win-win. It will be a new retailer downtown that will attract many competitive cyclists from all over WNY into downtown. Looking forward to seeing this project completed. Now the historic, brick warehouses on Seneca Street behind this project site, who will buy them and renovate them into new uses. Will this project be the catalyst that leads to that?

grad94

well, if it really -is- having its storefront restored, i can guarantee you that in the cast iron era, nobody ran their plate glass windows all the way to the ground.

they had solid foundations, sometimes with decorative panels and pronounced ledges. transom windows above would also be a great touch.

like this:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8171/8027876701_f05a71dbca_b.jpg

and this:

http://historicindianapolis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CCA102411-1-610x636.jpg

Old First Ward

The building is being restored to its original appearance with updated exterior window embellishments. The cast iron pilasters look fine in their spatial relationships to the facade.

Any reconfiguration would jeopardize any historical tax credits and undermine the integrity of the original design. As would defacing the brick walls with paint.

This is a fantastic project.

grad94

agree completely. with commercial buildings on commercial avenues, planting strips should be between the sidewalk and the street, not between the building and the sidewalk.

if the absence of greenery around the foundation triggers some sort of latent anxiety, build a masonry foundation across the facade no higher than 24" with plate glass windows above, and hang some window boxes.

a few storefronts around elmwood & breckenridge do this and it is a nice touch. also easier to keep clean, you don't have to bend over between scratchy shrubberies to pick up litter.

Cpt_Buff

And not too expensive!

Linksfiend

Suggestion for improvement: connect the front brick facade down to street level. It looks kinda awkward starting on the second floor. Maybe by bringing the corner columns and the two wider columns (between the 3 sets of 3 windows) to grade. Then possibly a slight brick arch across the @topmost 20% of the three large first floor windows. Something like on of these for the shallow arch

http://www.mcdonoughconstructioninc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/window.jpg

http://stephenesherman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/brick-rough-arch-short-window.jpg

RaChaCha

The article neglected to mention Roger the Shrubber as one of the investors.

STEEL

I really don't get why so many architects in Buffalo put little shrubs in front of the storefront windows. It looks ridiculous.

Cpt_Buff

Keep rooftop patios/gardens whatever you want to call them coming! Awesome project...I've lived in NYC for 6 years and hope to move back home in the next 2-4 years - this is definitely a place I could see myself living!

longgone

But we did.

What I can not figure out is why we can't demolish all of the crap that was built after these types of buildings were removed.

Just how long of a lifespan _should_ the Perry Projects have?

paulsobo

I wish we hadnt demolished so much of downtown Buffalo...its good that we have this to restore.

i wish we had the 50 we demolished to restore.

Tim

Yes, fellow mick. What a beaut.

buffalomick15

Speaking of the property at Elm and South Division, can we get an update on that one?

http://www.buffalorising.com/2012/09/trettel-buys-historic-elm-street-property.html

longgone

Not sure I agree on the lack of need. Maybe a better word is opportunity.

These parking lots are right off the on/off ramps for the 190. If the parking was consolidated it this section of downtown could hold a nice mid-rise office complex or two.

I know there is a lot of empty space in downtown but I am thinking of projects like the new Catholic Health facility. These are always going to happen.

Tim

Seas of parking suck, but there's just so little demand for new construction that i dont think a garage would make a difference here. For now.

Love that this is moving forward. Rehabs are always exciting to see. The building across the street at the corner of division and elm should be next!

longgone

Nice project.

Does anyone have information on who owns all of the parking lots around these two building? Looks like ECC would be the logical guess.

Regardless, are there any plans to build a ramp in this part of downtown? If done right that could really open things up.

BuffaloBobZ

looks like a good idea. Love the rooftop idea (We need more of that downtown) and having a biking hub is music to my ears. Looking forward to seeing it when done!