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Homes and Community Renewal

State HCR, ESD and Partners Announce Dedication of Bellamy Commons - Part of Better Buffalo Fund Initiative

30 Apartments of Affordable Housing for Low-Income Families,
Mixed-Use Development Features Buffalo Black Achievers Museum

 

(Buffalo, NY) State agencies and partners dedicated Bellamy Commons, the completion of conversion of a 100-year old former warehouse at 1490 Jefferson Avenue from a vacant community center to a 30 apartment development for low-income families. The restored building on Buffalo’s East Side, which received funding through the Governor Cuomo’s Better Buffalo Fund initiative, will also house the Buffalo Black Achievers Museum, dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of many of Buffalo’s prominent African Americans.

There are 20 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments, including five for persons with mobility issues and hearing or vision impairments. The building has an elevator, community room with kitchen, separate bulk storage units, laundry facilities, onsite parking and a playground. The commercial space also includes the local office of the NAACP.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin said, “A once vacant eyesore has become Bellamy Commons where 30 families can live in dignity and have vital access to essential neighborhood amenities. From here on the East Side of Buffalo to Rochester, to Albany and all the way north and all the way south, HCR and our partners are hard at work making Governor Cuomo’s aggressive $20 billion agenda combat homelessness and expand access to affordable housing  a reality.”

Since 2011 in Western New York, HCR has invested $119 million to create and preserve more than 1,630 affordable homes and apartments.

Empire State Development  President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said: “Bellamy Commons is well located on Jefferson Avenue, one of the East Side’s up-and-coming corridors that’s attracting both commercial and residential development. The success of Better Buffalo Fund projects like Bellamy projects will not only benefit this area but will have a positive ripple effect in adjoining neighborhoods as well.”

The $7.2 million Bellamy Commons received a $100,000 grant from the Better Buffalo Fund, part of Governor Cuomo’s $30 million Buffalo Billion initiative to encourage increased density and growth along transportation corridors and regenerate neighborhood commercial districts. It also received a $522,470 grant from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Housing Trust Fund Corporation and $4.7 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity. The project also received a $500,000 City by City grant from Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency.

The development team consists of Belmont Housing Resources for WNY, Inc., developer; Creative Structure Services, Inc., the general contractor, and Silvestri Architects, architect.  An integral part of the project team was Herbert L. Bellamy, Jr., a son of late former City Council Member Herbert L. Bellamy, for whom the development is named. Engaged in community revitalization efforts, he has worked to carry on his father’s legacy though local initiatives and efforts.

Mr. Bellamy said: “This building was a vital piece of this community in its prime. To be able to be a part of its rebirth and see this historic 1490 Enterprises – which my father started – move from warehouse to community center to become this incredible mix of high-quality affordable housing and commercial space has been exciting.”

Mike Riegel, President of Belmont Housing Resources for WNY said: “Creating new opportunities for affordable housing for the residents of Western New York is something that we take great pride in. We are grateful to Governor Cuomo and his team for their commitment to Bellamy Commons. They recognize that affordable housing strengthens families and builds strong communities which are key elements of Buffalo’s revitalization. This is our third new housing project completed on the East Side of Buffalo in the past three years.  Seeing the reinvigoration of this area has not only been exciting for us to watch, but to be able to be a part of, as these opportunities help support our mission  and ultimately change lives here in Western New York.”

Congressman Brian Higgins said: “This project was a collaboration of federal, state, local and private investment along with the aid of over $4 dollars in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax credits. Developments like Bellamy Commons have the power to create, encourage and empower more residential and commercially integrated neighborhoods. This is a transformative development and I congratulate all who made Bellamy Commons a reality, advancing yet another impressive investment in Buffalo’s historic east side.”

Mayor Byron Brown said: “The opening of Jefferson Avenue’s Bellamy Commons continues the transformation taking place in the Jefferson Avenue Commercial District by bringing new affordable housing and a Black Achievers Museum dedicated to telling local African-American success stories to the neighborhood,” said Mayor Byron Brown.  “I’m proud that the City contributed $800,000 from a variety of funding sources to this project.  1490 Jefferson was once an important center of activity in the community and to see it brought back to life will make an enormous difference.  I thank all of our partners, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Congressman Brian Higgins, State Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes and State Senator Tim Kennedy, for their commitment to this important project that complements the successes on Jefferson Avenue and surrounding East Side neighborhoods.”

Senator Tim Kennedy said: “As we continue to invest in affordable housing along our transportation corridors, so too are we investing in the connectivity and opportunities available in our great city. Together, we’re breathing new life into these communities and restoring them into the vibrant neighborhoods our residents deserve. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development and NYS Homes and Community Renewal for their continued commitment to affordable housing and transformative, long-term growth across Buffalo.”

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said: Bellamy Commons is an adaptive reuse win-win for its tenants and the surrounding community as it includes 30 units of affordable rental housing, a museum, and the local offices of the NAACP. These energy-efficient apartments are another example of the state’s commitment to affordable housing in Buffalo and along Jefferson Avenue. I applaud Governor Cuomo, DHCR and my colleagues in government in making today a reality.

About NYS Homes and Community Renewal
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) includes the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. 2016 marks the fourth year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. In 2015, HCR set a record for financing the creation or preservation of more than 11,000 affordable homes and apartments and was the #1 bond issuer in the nation with $2.5 billion issued. The agency stands ready to make good on the Governor’s new $10 billion 100,000 unit House NY 2020 commitment. For more information on HCR programs and initiatives, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/.

About Belmont Housing Resources for WNY
Founded in 1977, Belmont Housing Resources for WNY is the largest advocate for affordable housing and is dedicated to expanding affordable housing opportunities in WNY. www.belmonthousingwny.org

 

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