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Hochul celebrates groundbreaking for redevelopment of Commodore Perry Homes in Buffalo


Mon, Jun 3rd 2024 04:05 pm

$254 million, 27-building development will replace vacant, 24-building complex, creating 405 new affordable apartments in Buffalo’s First Ward neighborhood

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the start of construction on the redevelopment of the Commodore Perry Homes in Buffalo’s First Ward neighborhood. The new, all-electric housing development will consist of 405 affordable homes in 27 newly constructed buildings.

“With this investment, we are transforming the Perry Homes site from a symbol of decline and decay to a symbol of rebirth and resurgence,” Hochul said. “This community-driven development will open up opportunities for residents and businesses alike, all while increasing state-of-the-art affordable housing options in Buffalo.”

Hochul’s team said, “In the past five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved over 12,000 affordable homes in Erie County. Commodore Perry Homes continues this effort and is part of Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive housing plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.

“After many years of planning and work, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority and the development team prepared a comprehensive transformation plan for the Commodore Perry public housing development neighborhood. Perry Homes I is the first phase of that multiphase transformation plan and involves the redevelopment of an 18-acre portion of the existing public housing development site.

“The project began in mid-April with the demolition of 24 derelict and vacant structures that had been boarded up for a decade. The demolished buildings will be replaced with 27 buildings that include three mid-rise, mixed-use buildings with 9,000 square-feet of commercial space, and 24 two- and three-story townhouse-style apartment buildings.

“Once complete, the new Perry Homes will include 405 high-quality apartments, all of which will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income. Of the total units, 284 will be covered under a Section 8 project-based housing assistance payment contract administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development office of multifamily housing.

“The redevelopment will also feature comprehensive on-site amenities, including a centrally located property management office, maintenance suite, mail and package rooms, two community rooms with a kitchenette, three fitness centers, shared laundry on each floor and bicycle storage. Residents will be provided free broadband internet service and Wi-Fi, and they will also enjoy access to green space and outdoor amenities, such as four playgrounds, each designed to maximize play for children ages 2-12; multiple tree groves; rain gardens to support stormwater management practices; and two outdoor plazas with picnic tables, card tables, benches, and room for gathering and programming.

“On-site surface parking, including 30 electric vehicle charging stations provided through a partnership with Tesla, will be accessible across the site for residential tenant use, commercial visitors, and management staff.

“Perry Homes I is designed to be a highly efficient, all-electric project meeting Enterprise Green Communities 2020 Plus certification requirements and the U.S. Department of Energy zero energy ready home version 1 program. As part of New York State’s Homes and Community Renewal clean energy initiative, the new buildings will have high-performance windows, enhanced insulation, a combination of high-efficiency building-mounted LED lighting to promote safety, and solar panels on each of the three mid-rise buildings. Every apartment will be equipped with inverter-driven air source heat pumps for air conditioning and heating and electric hot water heaters, ENERGY STAR-certified dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.”

The site is in the First Ward neighborhood in south Buffalo. Residents will have access to the New York Thruway via I-190 at Louisiana Street and Perry Street. Bus access, which is available along South Park Avenue and Perry Street, provides access to downtown and places of employment. There are numerous shopping destinations and health care facilities nearby, as well as adult and child care, a public library, and a community center.

The development team is Pennrose and Bridges Development Inc., a not-for-profit corporation affiliate of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. The Perry Homes redevelopment will use the Federal Housing and Urban Development RAD program to convert the vacant public housing units to project-based rental assistance.

Financing for the $254 million development includes $21.9 million in tax-exempt bonds, $115.7 million in state and federal low-income tax credits, and $83.1 million in subsidy from HCR. Empire State Development provided $5 million in Restore New York funding. Additional funds include: $6 million in BMHA capital fund program; $1.1 million in Buffalo Community Development block grants; $5 million in RAD rehab assistance payments; and $1.6 million in federal 45L tax credits.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Redeveloping the Commodore Perry Homes is a transformative project for Buffalo, presenting the chance to inject vitality into a long-dormant public housing complex. By creating more than 400 modern, energy-efficient apartments, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to creating more affordable housing opportunities and enriching neighborhoods across Buffalo.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “The start of construction on the all-electric Commodore Perry Homes is an exciting step closer to making more energy-efficient, affordable housing available in Buffalo. Once completed, this transformational project will ensure residents benefit from healthier and more comfortable homes that maximize energy savings while integrating improved building performance.”

HUD Regional Administrator Alicka Ampry-Samuel said, “I am pleased that HUD will play an ongoing major role in the future of hundreds of Commodore Perry families by providing residents with monthly rental subsidies via project-based rental assistance. After many years of blight and great effort from our partners, Commodore Perry will finally become new, affordable homes for hundreds of Buffalonians and a safe community for this grand city.”

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “We have worked hard to get the BMHA Commodore Perry development underway. This development will provide an excellent quality of life for the residents in this area. I am proud of the work BMHA and our office of strategic planning has done to move this development forward. My administration and our office of strategic planning were successful in securing the funds necessary for the development.”

Regional Vice President at Pennrose Dylan Salmons said, “We’re proud to join the state, Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, Bridges Development Inc., and all our project partners on this comprehensive transformation plan. Today’s groundbreaking represents years of collaboration, and is an exciting next step in delivering high-quality, affordable housing, robust resident amenities, and comprehensive supportive services to the First Ward neighborhood.”

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