Redevelopment of 500 Block of Main Street Buffalo NY

Concept Document

Draft 10th April 2007 Brian R Anderson

Prepared for:
National Grid

School of Architecture and Planning University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Prepared by:


Buffalo. i Acknowledgement Community Preservation Corporation has provided the following: Keynote Speaker for the 6/20/06 Downtown Living Forum. Inc. Robert Bannister. which has a history of financially supporting efforts to develop housing in downtown Buffalo. NY was presented with the significant support by the following members. $35. He also participated in and helped to plan the Adaptive Reuse Forum held in Buffalo in June 2006.introduction of project to various grant sources. Zemsky Family Foundation are a primarily philanthropic foundation dedicated primarily to advancing the quality of life in Buffalo.REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY Acknowledgement The Concept Document for the Redevelopment of 500 Block of Main Street. Fannie Mae. provided a $15. Their role in the Restoration of the 500 Block of Main Street: Expanding housing opportunities in Buffalo’s Central Business District (CBD) has been a priority of the Fannie Mae since the opening of its Upstate NY Community Business Center (UNY CBC) in 1998. is a member of the committee. a construction lending monitoring firm.000 grant to Buffalo Place to assist with the efforts of the Downtown Living Committee. research into and modelling of development financing for the project.000 for the payment of consulting engineer fees for 10 building assessments and one ‘connectivity’ assessment to CLS. who heads Fannie Mae’s Upstate NY Community Business Center. .

owner. through BURA. for acquisition. CEO. The remainder of the LOC could be used for projects such as the 500 Block. Vice President of Finance. 477 Main Street The First Church of Christian Science and Perry Smith. 9 Genesee Street Brenda McDuffie.8 million helped finance the Historic Warehouse Lofts. 521 Main Street . owner. and James Smith. 521 Main Street Inc. proprieter of Royal Photo Lab at 472 Main Street and owner of 496 and 501 Main Street Charles and Deloris Battle and Charles Anderson. $2 million was used in the successful redevelopment of 800 Block of Main Street (Granite Works apartments) and $1. owner and developer.CONCEPT DOCUMENT Fannie Mae designated Buffalo’s CBD a special investment community. 5 Huron Street Bill Barrett and Golden Hire Equity LLC. owner/occupant. That designation allows the company to provide strategic investments to the area.. development ii Acknowledgement and construction/redevelopment financing. owners and codeveloper. Buffalo Urban League. church board member. Participating owners: Brian Mahoney. Spa Lofts LLC. owner. In addition a $6 million Community Express Line of Credit (CELOC) was provided to the City. Fannie Mae helped fund the first reintroduction of rental housing in downtown Buffalo since WWII (Ellicott Lofts). 11 Genesee Street Kevin Kirk and Paul Iskalo of Iskalo Development. 483 Main Street Naseem M Malik.

owner. an associate. a partner in the firm. have also worked to advise the Downtown Living Committee on architecture and on the Main Street neighborhood throughout the redevelopment planning process. owner. a boutique law firm specializing in low-income housing credits and other tax credit financing. financial incentives and other options for 500 block owners. owners. Steve Carmina. owners of 537 Main Street J. Heyman & Weiss. a partner in the firm. 529 Main Street Alex Vorhand and Seymour Investments LLC. 500 Washington Street Eran Epstien. contributed staff time at a late November design charette that resulted in the design options for the 500 block presented in this document. owner of 529 Main Street Greg Rehwoldt and Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt. . Cannon. Steve Weiss. 510 Washington Street LLC. Queen City Lofts LLC. E Square Capital LLC. LLP. and Tim Favaro. a principal in the firm. Washington Condos LLC. focusing on New Market Tax Credits. contributed staff time to prepare a document listing tax credits. and Jonathan Morris. owner of 510 Washington Street Carmina & Wood PC. 504506 Washington Street John Barry. renovators and occupants of 487 Main Street. met with committee members and Buffalo Place staff on multiple occasions to devise possible structures for tax credit financing.Jim Sandoro. Roger Trettel.

including Richard Tobe.City of Buffalo: City officials. The Urban Design Project with the design team of Robert G. Shibley. commissioner of economic development and permit and inspection services. Members of Brown’s cabinet. where Mayor Byron Brown addressed property owners and other stakeholders. and Timothy Wanamaker. helped kick off the redevelopment of the 500 Block when the city co-hosted the Adaptive Reuse Forum. met with Downtown Living Committee members to discuss the project’s progress and offer advice on financing options. Many Thanks to all those who participated. Special mention for Steve Weiss and firm over and above committee respresentation. executive director of the office of strategic planning. . Sean Brodfuehrer and Nishu Sinha for participation and preparation of Concept Document. in addition to holding a seat on the Downtown Living Committee.


a sore spot in a renewed and growing downtown. a strong. the University at Buffalo. more than a year ago. changing the economic incentive to work together and form a joint entity. with buildings linked to make the space more marketable. in partnership with the City of Buffalo. Carmina & Wood PC and other downtown 1 Vision for Future stakeholders. Inc. . Where We Began In 1991. makes this an ideal time for redevelopment to finally occur..CONCEPT DOCUMENT The 500 Block of Main Street Overview Buffalo Place. has emerged. added to the free development feasibility studies and other services provided to building owners. VISION FOR FUTURE Street. At that time. With a few more commitments. vibrant market for downtown apartments. we’ve come up with a workable plan with building owners behind it. many priced at $1. Since that time. Further. a study undertaken by the Urban Design Project suggested small office space as the best use of 500 block upper floors. Since then. first began working with The Community Preservation Corporation toward a realistic plan to redevelop the 500 block of Main A. little to no residential housing existed in downtown Buffalo and not many owners could be convinced to link (or sell) their buildings for the project to get off the ground. the business improvement district for downtown Buffalo.000 per month and higher. this important project in the heart of downtown Buffalo can finally take off. The combination of these conditions. realistic financial projections and a preliminary set of architectural renderings. vacancy rates have risen and most owners are losing money on their properties.

.000 at 3 percent interest for façade renovation loans and $35. Professor Bob Shibley of the University at Buffalo facilitates the forum.000 for development feasibility studies that will be provided to property owners free of charge. March 2006 Buffalo Place.REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY February 2006 Buffalo Place. Mayor Byron Brown addresses the Adaptive Reuse Forum. and several Downtown Living Committee members conduct seminars in the area of their expertise. In addition. Inc. Senior Vice President of The CPC. Of the $50 million. and The Community Preservation Corp. The committee begins to plan an Adaptive Re-use Forum focused on the 500 block’s small building owners. authorizes its Planning and Operations Committee under Paul Ciminelli. The Community Preservation Corporation and the City of Buffalo announce a collaborative effort to redevelop the 500 block of Main Street. B. $15 million is earmarked specifically for the 500 block. held on June 20 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The CPC commits $200. Keynote speaker Sadie McKeown. decided to look at the redevelopment of the 500 block of Buffalo’s Main St. Inc. to organize a subcommittee called the Downtown Living Committee. WHAT WE HAVE DONE 2 What we have done April-May 2006 The committee meets frequently to put together the day-long forum. and The CPC commits $50 million in loan capital for construction and rehabilitation downtown. June 2006 Buffalo Place.

The studies detail what repairs and changes would need to be completed in order for residential conversion to work.CONCEPT DOCUMENT discusses CPC’s downtown small building redevelopment initiative in New Rochelle. free of charge. . Heyman and Weiss staff present this and other information to property owners at a meeting at Buffalo Place. a Buffalo law firm specializing in the finance of affordable housing. Cannon. along with financial advice.000 for façade improvements. Inc. The grant will be administered by a subcommittee of the Downtown Living Committee and by Buffalo Place staff. The studies provided to property owners. The CPC contracts with CLS. Buffalo Place and Cannon. Heyman and Weiss. A large percentage of 500 block-area building owners attend. free of charge. Buffalo Place learns that its application for a Main Street Grant from 3 What we have done the Department of Housing and Community Renewal has been successful. NY. it will provide $200. August 2006 Howard Zemsky volunteers to chair the Downtown Living Committee. for building walk-throughs with 500 block property owners so that feasibility studies can be delivered. donates staff time to put together a fifteen page packet enumerating tax code-based financial incentives available to property owners who decide to redevelop their properties. streetscape improvements and commercial buildouts in the 500 block area.

Sara Faherty of the University at Buffalo law school and attorney George Grasser. yet maintain multiple owners. Inc. .REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY September 2006 The CPC commissions CLS. to complete an elevator and egress study that will examine the cost of redeveloping a string of 500 block properties together in order to save money. all funded by The CPC. PC. The Zemsky Family Foundation commits to paying for Urban Design Project graduate students’ time so that Carmina & Wood can collaborate with the University at Buffalo in a design charrette. What we have done meeting with local experts including Aaron Bartley of People United 4 October 2006 CLS. are taken into account. CLS’ twelve studies of individual properties. which examines the costs and physical hurdles involved in redeveloping the 500 block as one large mixed-use project with shared elevators and other amenities. volunteer staff time to help create redevelopment plans for the block. Buffalo Place staff begin research on an ownership structure that would make site control possible. also a 500 block stakeholder. Buffalo Place and The CPC also devote staff time to learning about historic tax credits and other types of tax credit financing that may be available to 500 block property owners. by for Sustainable Housing. Architects at Carmina & Wood. Inc. delivers a connectivity study.

Main Street Grant. . About ten students and architects spend an afternoon creating sketches and design ideas for a revived 500 block. Professor Shibley presents design charrette results to a meeting of 500 block area property owners. Downtown Living Committee member Professor Robert Shibley. A large number of owners attend. based on square footage and other information from the feasibility studies. CPC staff and Buffalo Place staff begin work on a “concept document” that will detail the vision for the 500 block. steps taken to get there. and what other work and funds are needed. filling the Buffalo Place conference room.CONCEPT DOCUMENT November 2006 Architects from Carmina & Wood PC meet at Buffalo Place with students and staff of the Urban Design Project. many of whom informally commit to becoming part of a collective ownership structure should the design plans become a reality. Buffalo Place staff develop further information on financing and ownership options and Joe Eicheldinger of The CPC delivers revised financial projections for the block’s redevelopment that include specifics about number of tax credit dollars anticipated. including the project’s head. Shibley. Buffalo Place forms a subcommittee of the Downtown Living Committee to administer the January 2007 Professor Shibley presents design charrette results to the Downtown Living Committee and members make suggestions regarding gap financing options and other funding tools. 5 What we have done Shibley directs the charrette.

Buffalo Place staff develop an application for Main Street Grant funds and meet with two 500 block owners who have expressed interest in applying for the grants. exact square footage and expected sources and uses.REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY include specifics about number of tax credit dollars anticipated. 6 What we have done . executive director of the office of strategic planning. Tobe and Wannamaker express interest in helping the committee move the project forward. commissioner of economic development and permit and inspection services and Timothy Wannamaker. February 2007 A group of Downtown Living Committee members present design charrette results. financial projections and related information to a group of City of Buffalo staff members. including Rich Tobe.

BLOCK AS IT LOOKS NOW The upper floors of these buildings have sat vacant for 20 years or more. . Studies commissioned by The CPC bear this out. The age of the buildings and their small footprints 7 Block as it looks now make building-by-building cost-effective redevelopment impossible. but showing the feasibility of joining the buildings with walkways out back. but combining them may make it feasible. while the first-floor retail spaces continue to empty out slowly as well.CONCEPT DOCUMENT C. demonstrating high per-square-foot developments costs.

REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY The Design Process Architects from Carmina & Wood. spent an afternoon with UB’s Bob Shibley and several architecture students creating possible plans for the 500 block and taking into account which owners had committed to the redevelopment project. 8 Block as it looks now . 521 Main Street (the former Royal Beauty Supply) is torn down so that more apartments with better light can be built in the neighboring buildings. The students and architects put together a series of possible plans. PC. In this example. creating a mid-block connection to Washington Street.

Existing Buildings Was hin t gton Stree t .CONCEPT DOCUMENT Ge ne S see tre et 9 Block as it looks now Main Stree 1st Floor Plan .

For a demonstration of this style in practice. BLOCK AS IT COULD LOOK 10 Block as it could look . observe the IS Lofts on Oak Street in Buffalo. Exterior “catwalks” could be used to connect the buildings. D.REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY The buildings could be linked with an atrium that extends behind Main Street.

Block as it could look 11 CONCEPT DOCUMENT .

The Zimmerman/Volk downtown housing market analysis commissioned in late 2004 says demand for downtown housing will continue to outstrip supply well into the future. egress and overall quality of the created space. Typical apartments in the new 500 block would be more affordable than most downtown choices. The images below show two typical room layouts at 650 square feet and 900 square feet. 12 Block as it could look .REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY This east / west section graphic through the block shows an example of how these buildings could be divided into smaller or larger units depending on the conditions of light.

Block as it could look 13 CONCEPT DOCUMENT .

especially if structured parking is built.REDEVELOPMENT OF 500 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET BUFFALO NY The Possibility of Further Development Going Forward Redeveloping the 500 block would provide an opportunity for structured parking with ground floor retail and apartments above it on a nearby surface lot. Detailed financial projections compiled by Joe Eicheldinger. Block as it could look The Numbers 14 . Here is the full-block redevelopment concept. vice president and regional director for The CPC and a commercial lending veteran. show that 500 block redevelopment could work with an ownership entity establishing site control and about $2 million in gap financing (structured as a loan) from the City of Buffalo. Redevelopment could also mean incentive for owners on the far end of the block to redevelop as well. State of New York or some other source. with 521 Main Street removed in favor of an atrium. as mentioned previously.

11 Ge Acquisition/Construction Soft costs Developer's Fee Total Development Cost DevelopmentCost per SF Total Gross Building Area Est.000 86. (1991 Estimates) TOTALS 1.7 Yes Yes No c. 510 W 5 E.262 3 4 3 1.433 2 3 3-4 3 4 4 3 17.306 5.372 10.058 3. 529 Main St. 535 Main St.000 7 3. 510 Washington 11 Genesee 5 E. 1929 4. 5 East Huron St.0 2. 1880 c. Yes No Yes Yes Yes No c. 1900 3. (1991 Estimates) 510 Washington St.5 Final CPC Summary Yes No c. 1860-1920's c.3 4.699 10. 'Connectivity' SF Area Total Developed SF $139. 1.CONCEPT DOCUMENT 01/14/07 pre 1936 Buildings only Property Condition Facts Adaptive Reuse Cost Est. 1920 17. 521 Main St. Building Address 11 Genesee St.86 76. 1900 c.385 76. 504-506 Washington St. (1991 Estimates) 523 Main St. 1900 c. (1991Estimates) 501 Main St.508 3. Does no 504.5 15 Proforma 525 Main St. 500 Washington St. PROFORMA 2.0 1.1 E. 1880 c. (1991 Estimates) 537 Main St. 1900 c. Floors Com 17. 5 & 7 Genesee St.0 c.1890-1920's c.084 16.6 1.699 does not include 504. 515-519 Main St.811 6.8 Maybe Yes Maybe c.385 3 2 3 1.2 3.120 11. 1870 5.186 5.1890-1920's c.5 2. (1991 Estimates) 9 Genesee St. Huron 1 4. 1890 Commitment No 1929 1/14/2007 Year Built Latest Gross Bldg Area (SF) No.3 23. 1860-1920's c.104 5.963 17.699 .

33 $ $50.699 .272.71 $121.650.618.608.661.568.00 $72.84 $96.79 $63.758 $7.385 4 2 0 $30.384.43 $96.88 $96.00 $105.500.00 $377.00 $168.189.811 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 2.00 $24.754 1 1 1 2.863.74 $45.84 $153.000.00 $45.000.00 -4 $132.593 2.622 2 4 4 4 5 4 0 $25.000.499.08 $0.556 Does not include 504 or 510 Washington $8.000 $1.00 $235.220.00 $984.062 2.245.500.385 23.00 $45.00 $71.20 $720.11 $542.000.000.712.331.10 $1.900.00 $284.00 4.07 $113.607.00 $96 $45.82 $195.959.960.000.152 $0.993.544.94 $48. Huron 1 12 0 52.000 86.00 $107.675.000.00 $72.00 $1.044.00 $45.86 76.00 $22.297 $394.321 4.000 Cost do not include $72.195 basis for HTC 510 Washington $139.00 $68.600.00 $45.360.00 $257.843 Does not include 504. Renovation Cost Res.00 $72.36 $521.000.197.650.00 $5.580.70 $168.921.000.00 $615.00 $426.92 $299.994.00 $20.152 20% of eligible $10.12 $1.00 3.00 Comm.712.55 $440.000.152.699 10.00 0 $118.239.000. # Res.00 0 $45. SF Res # Renovation Cost (inside com.00 $168.125.96 0 $251.758 1.556 0 1 1 0 3.248.40 $340.124 3.496.510 Washington 11 Genesee $374.400. $322.000.00 $45.000 1 14.000. cost) 17.768.856.898.000.795.581.00 $72.960.000.000.00 $58.600.000.787.00 $7.00 0 $72.00 $135.147.00 1.824 0 45 $20.665.00 $20.58 $96.00 $1.686 1.53 $96.Façade Com Comm.52 $347.578 3.000 6 $185.00 $2.138 $90.000.840 7.951.472.00 $369.150.18 $219.00 $97.000.997.184 2.508 1.00 $399.04 $1.070 1.00 $352.229.000.81 $735.000.00 $72.112.00 $ 3.00 $108.642 12.04 $1.137.00 $87. 510 Washington 11 Genesee 5 E.280 3. SF.331.000.00 $105.689 Costs do not include 504.000.00 $10.00 $72.436 1.479 7.00 1.526 1.00 $72.00 $72.00 $69.53 $862.629 $12.935.368.173. Renovation Cost Total Cost Const Cost/SF 2006 Cost To link 1991 +40% Cost to Link 2006 rs 0 $100.000.65 $1.00 $ 1.273.508 4 4 8 $70.60 $1.55 $116.000.741 4.528 16.

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