Historic buildings on Niagara Street to get a second life
USA Niagara Development Corp. and Savarino Companies – a Buffalo-based construction, development and property management firm – have completed the restoration and redevelopment of the historic Tugby-Lennon block at 320-324 Niagara St., Niagara Falls. The block consists of three attached historic structures located in the heart of Niagara Falls, steps from the Seneca Niagara Casino, the developing Third Street neighborhood, and just minutes from Niagara Falls State Park.
“USAN, under Gov. Hochul’s leadership, is working to facilitate economic development that creates a vibrant downtown for both visitors and residents,” USAN President Anthony Vilardo said. “These buildings are among the few surviving structures of the dense, mixed-use commercial-residential environment that once characterized Niagara Street. We commend Savarino Companies for recognizing the block’s historic importance and for completing this mixed-use rehabilitation project.”
Savarino Companies Vice President of Development Courtney Samuels-Cox said, “We pursued this project because we share a vision with the City of Niagara Falls, Niagara County and Empire State Development of a charming, mixed-use, walkable downtown that enhances the tourism experience and improves quality of life for Niagara Falls residents. Savarino Companies is grateful to have contributed to the advancement of this vision through the redevelopment of the Tugby-Lennon.”
City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, “The opening of the Tugby-Lennon block continues the progress we are working on in our downtown district. While the added market-rate apartments contribute to our steady growth of downtown residences, we are extremely pleased to see Daredevil Records in the building’s commercial space. This is the growth in our commercial corridor that is vital to our downtown.”
The $3.5 million restoration of three mixed-use, three-story buildings, totaling 12,531 square-feet, includes capital improvements, façade improvements and interior renovations – creating 4,177 total square-feet of first-floor commercial/retail space. The project also includes renovations of 10 market-rate apartments on the buildings’ second and third floors.
A press release said, “The buildings represent an important contribution to the late-19th and early-20th century urban architecture, commercial history and community development of downtown Niagara Falls.”
Daredevil Records will be Tugby-Lennon’s first commercial tenant. Daredevil will operate a retro record store and listening lounge in new storefront space at 324 Niagara St.
The press release said, “Fans of all music genres can purchase vintage recordings and also stay and listen to their favorite music on various throw-back devices such as cassette and record players – all while enjoying beer, wine and other food and refreshments. For more information, visit https://daredevilrecords.com/.”
Savarino said the two remaining storefront commercial spaces, at 320 and 322 Niagara St., are completed and move-in ready for other tenants who may take advantage of the visible street front space. These adjoining 1,500-square-foot spaces feature original exposed brick walls, storefront windows, and an exterior front patio. For commercial leasing inquiries, contact Savarino Companies Development Operations Manager Kylie Gordon at [email protected].
The upper-floor market-rate apartments feature 10 one- and two-bedroom apartments with original cedar floors, exposed brick walls and in-unit washers and dryers. For residential leasing inquiries, visit https://tugby-lennon.com.
The USAN Board awarded a $145,000 Niagara Economic Development Fund grant to Savarino for the Tugby-Lennon project. The project also received Federal/New York State Historic Tax Credits, a $155,000 Niagara County Industrial Development Agency tourism grant, a $100,000 National Grid grant, and a $40,000 NFC Development Corp. grant.
The USAN Board of Directors also met and approved the following items:
√ Authorization to enter into a contract, not to exceed $2.1 million, with Practice for Architecture Urbanism DPC for architectural and engineering services related to the Niagara Fall Heritage Gateways project. The project includes the construction of several public infrastructure projects designed to spur new development on USAN’s properties. These “Heritage Gateways” – four in total – “will form the foundation for a downtown-wide heritage path, and strengthen connections between downtown and Niagara Falls State Park.”
√ Authorization to enter into an administrative agreement with the NFC Development Corp. for a Niagara Falls Small Business Property Improvement Program. That includes $3 million to foster revitalization of traditional mixed-use business districts by providing funds to small business and property owners for commercial improvements such as façade restoration and other mixed-use building upgrades. More details about the program and how to apply will be forthcoming.
USAN, a subsidiary of Empire State Development, is solely dedicated to the support and promotion of economic development initiatives in Niagara Falls by leveraging private investment and encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry in the City of Niagara Falls. For more information, visit https://esd.ny.gov/usa-niagara-development-corporation-6.