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A typical rowhouse (Commodore Perry renderings provided by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority)
A typical rowhouse (Commodore Perry renderings provided by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority)

Mayor Brown, BMHA board take 'sweeping actions' to facilitate $260 million first phase of Commodore Perry project


Fri, Feb 16th 2024 01:55 pm

Approvals by BMHA board set stage for demolition of 27 long-vacant Perry Apartment buildings, making way for construction of 405 new residential units

Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Press Release

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) board of commissioners took coordinated actions that are necessary to begin work on the first phase of the transformative Commodore Perry redevelopment project.

“This is a huge step forward in our journey to revitalize this area,” Brown said. “The demolition of the BMHA Commodore Perry buildings clears the way for a better quality of life for the residents in this area. I am proud of the work the BMHA and our office of strategic planning have done to move this project forward.”

The complex list of approvals, taken by the BMHA, included everything from a ground lease with Perry Homes I LLC and the Perry Homes 1 Development Fund Co. Inc., to the formation of affiliates to handle funding, construction and management of the new residences, as well as easements for demolition, land clearing, and staging and storing of construction equipment and materials.

“This is a massive and complicated project, which involves multiple public and private funding sources, and local, state and federal government approvals to bring 405 units of modern, affordable housing to a completely reconfigured site,” BMHA Executive Director Gillian D. Brown said. “Today’s board actions bring three years of ambitious planning with our developer, Pennrose LLC, with input from Perry residents, to the starting line of the physical work.”

Commissioners received a breakdown of the complex funding package that will make the first phase of the Perry transformation possible.

Perry and Louisiana streets (Commodore Perry renderings provided by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority)


The long list of loans, grants and equity contributions includes:

√ $205 million in New York State Housing Finance Agency and New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal loans, plus a New York State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program equity contribution;

√ $6.1 million in grants from the City of Buffalo through ReStore NY and Community Block Grant programs;

√ $98 million from the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program;

√ $6 million in Capital Funds from the BMHA;

√ $5 million in Department of Housing and Urban Development RAD Rehab Assistance aid; and,

√ $1.6 million in federal energy-efficient homes funds

Mayor Brown’s office of strategic planning filed a measure with the City of Buffalo Common Council requesting approval to use $5 million in ReStore NY funds the city obtained on behalf of the BMHA, as well as the $1.1 million contribution from Community Block Grant Funds, to kick-start physical work on the project.

Gillian Brown said, “Because Mayor Brown and the office of strategic planning were successful in securing those funds for the demolition of the long-vacant apartments, our residents, this neighborhood, and the tens of thousands who drive by along the I-190 will see our progress on removing the blight that’s been there far too long. We thank Mayor Brown for assisting the BMHA with this critical part of the project.”

The project will begin with the demolition of 24 vacant apartment buildings located on the nearly 19-acre site, bounded by Hamburg, Perry, South Park and Louisiana streets. When complete, the new-build Commodore Perry affordable housing project will feature 405 residential units in 27 buildings, with 8,000 square-feet of commercial space.

The project will include 24 two- or three-story townhouse and residential walk-up buildings, and three five-story buildings along South Park Avenue and Louisiana Street, with 212 one- and two-bedroom units.

In other action, BMHA commissioners approved a new five-year lease agreement with Pitney Bowes Inc. for postal meter equipment and maintenance services.

The BMHA’s previous agreement with the firm included postal meters at nine sites at an annual cost of $21,796. Following a review of mailing needs, only four locations will house the new contract postal equipment bringing the cost down to $7,405 a year, resulting in a savings of $71,951 over the life of the contract.

Commissioners also approved the write-off of $309,270 in vacated tenant accounts for the first quarter of the 2023-24 fiscal year. The account balances, for the period between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2023, are owed by tenants who no longer reside at the BMHA.

The board also approved a $49,336 change order for ongoing site improvements at Holling Homes. The additional funds to cover the cost of perimeter drainage along the roadway and parking area increase Occhino Corp.’s contract to $997,681.

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