SILVER CREEK – Local leaders discussed the future of a proposed senior apartment building in Silver Creek on Tuesday.
Senator George Borrello emphasized how long he has sought to address this eyesore of the region that has been closed since 1978, and the turning point that jump-started the project.
“This 4.6 million dollar grant is one of only thirty in the entire nation,” boasts Borrello. “The only one in New York State, and it came here to Silver Creek for this project. That speaks to the hard work and dedication of everybody here, it speaks to the value of this project.”
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which Region Nine Housing Corporation hopes to utilize for a redevelopment plan that would transform the deteriorating former landmark into a 47-unit apartment building for low-income seniors 62 and over.
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel stated the importance of keeping seniors in their hometowns close to friends and family and the history the former school holds for these seniors.
“We have very little affordable housing for seniors in the area. This is going to allow people to stay here, in the area, in affordable housing,” says Wendel.
Mark Comroe, Director of Development for Region Nine Housing Corporation, explained the non-profits goals, saying they were established in 1970 to sponsor, promote, and provide affordable housing to meet the needs of low to moderate income seniors, persons with disabilities, and families.
This project would be the first of the non-profits in New York State, with others of its kind in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
They seek to return this hub for illicit activity into a rehabilitated structure for productive use while maintaining historical accuracy.
“The renovation will involve the removal and disposal of many environmental hazards located throughout the building. As I’m sure everybody knows asbestos, ECDs, lead paint, etc is what’s in that building,” lists Comroe.
“The building will have an elevator, in addition to stairs, and we know it’s three stories. 46 of the 47 apartments will be one-bedroom units, one of the 47 apartments will be a two-bedroom unit.”
Common areas will include ground-floor management site office and service office, ground-floor community room and kitchen, second-floor activity room and third floor activity, computer, exercise, and any other socialization room. Outdoor patio spaces and gardens, laundry rooms and storage spaces will also be included in the space.
The group hopes this renovation will help to rejuvenate the rest of Main Street and plans to start construction as soon as December 2022 and leasing in Spring 2024.
The estimated cost of the project is $24 million, which the group hopes to receive from additional state and federal grants. Maximum rent for 39 of the apartments calculated on 2021 rates would be 592 dollars per month. Maximum income limit for a single resident is 24,300 dollars.
Concetta Ferguson, Senior Vice President of People Inc, explained how her group will help people with disabilities at the new project.
“Fifteen are going to be set aside for frail elderly people,’ says Ferguson. “What that means is maybe somebody who is currently living in a skilled nursing facility, somebody who is maybe living with their family member, just some extra support will be provided to the people that are living in those fifteen units.”
Currently, the groups are applying for funding from multiple sources.