by Joshua Maloni
The Village of Lewiston complex once known as Fairchild Manor has been sold and is slated to become a 24-unit condominium complex. Brooklyn-based Goldin Management purchased the former nursing home.
"For the last two years, it's been vacant and vandalized," David Giusiana of Giusiana Architects and Engineer told the Village Planning Board Monday. Speaking on behalf of Goldin Management, he said his client intends to "renovate the building into permanent multi-family housing, specifically 24 condos."
The building and grounds total almost 1.6 acres. Giusiana said the condos would be townhouse-style, and divided into 18 two-bedroom units and six one-bedroom units, based on the building's E-shape. The courtyard and side yard will remain intact. Porches and sidewalks will be added, and the front circular drive (on Fairchild Place) will be removed and replaced with individual driveways. Three-fourths of the 40-plus parking spaces will be on the back end of the property (Onondaga Street).
"We're not changing the footprint, but we are changing, substantially, the sort of institutional look by adding all the slopes, the shingled roofs and then the porches," Giusiana said.
"I think it's a great idea, I really do, because it's better than having an empty building there," Planning Board member Ernie Krell said. "And I know the quality of craftsmanship's gonna be there when you build something like this."
"I'm glad to see the place cleaned up," Planning Board member Loretta Frankovitch added.
Giusiana said the Fairchild complex is ideal for conversion into condominiums.
"The really great thing about that particular building is that those long hallways are not structural walls, so the fact that it's kind of E-shaped, each one of the wings, the outside walls are bearing. It allows us to remove all the interior walls and do whatever we want to do. The dimension of each one of those fingers of the E, if you will, are proportioned nicely where on one side we can have a living space and keep the bathrooms and kitchens and closets and laundry rooms in the middle where they don't need natural light, and then bedrooms on the other side."
He said construction should take only a few months. The sticking point, he expects, will be paperwork. New York condominium projects have to be reviewed by the state attorney general's office.
"It will probably end up being well over a year by the time all is said and done because of that attorney general issue," he said. "That's not just this one, that's all condominiums."
Giusiana said the demand for condominiums in Lewiston is "phenomenal." The Village of Lewiston also has a proposal from Richard Hastings and Hormoz Mansouri for a condominium project next to the Frontier House.
The Planning Board voted 4-0 in favor of approving the Fairchild plan. Giusiana, a member of the board, recused himself.
The total assessed value of the property is $1,662,000. Goldin Management purchased it for $25,000 through DLZ Capital LLC. It also paid the back taxes. On its website, Goldin Management is listed as "a full service real estate company which specializes in property management."
In June 2011, the state Department of Public Health approved a plan for Fairchild Manor to close and cease operations. That was shortly before a federal grand jury indicted former owner Marc Korn on charges of fraud and making false statements.
The 75-plus residents were relocated.