New York Construction Report staff writer
Construction has begun on the $71 million rehabilitation of the Ellicott Town Center, a decades-old housing development near downtown Buffalo featuring 281 homes located among four high-rise towers and 12 townhomes.
The development’s towers, originally built in 1958 and called the Ellicott Mall, feature 72 one-bedroom apartments, 182 two-bedroom units, and three units with four-bedrooms.
Ellicott Town Center’s rehabilitation is being developed by Beacon Communities and First Shiloh Development LLC, an affiliate of the First Shiloh Baptist Church, which is located adjacent to the Ellicott Town Center campus.
“With the completion of the Ellicott Town Center home, Buffalo residents will now have greater access to safe, highly efficient, and resilient affordable housing with numerous state-of-the-art features that provide a healthy and comfortable living environment,” said NYSERDA president and CEO Dorreen M. Harris.
The rehabilitation of the Ellicott Town Center is part of a $25 billion 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.
Located near Buffalo’s downtown, the Ellicott Town Center is within walking distance of many amenities and is accessible by public transportation. The substantial redevelopment will make both interior and exterior improvements to the buildings, including kitchen and bathroom updates in all apartments, new roofs, windows, siding, sidewalks, and enhanced lighting. The improvements are expected to increase the building’s efficiency and lead to a 20 percent energy savings.
Ellicott Town Center’s townhomes, originally constructed in 1998, will continue to be set aside for New Yorkers age 55 and older. All senior units feature two bedrooms and are affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income.
Funding includes $36 million in State and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, nearly $32 million in tax exempt housing bonds, and nearly $23 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $300,000 in support through the Clean Energy Initiative.
“The city of Buffalo has been through an extremely challenging time, so it’s incredibly gratifying to be able to celebrate a project that invests in the future and will have a positive impact for years to come,” Dara Kovel, CEO, Beacon Communities said. “This long-awaited renovation will improve residents’ quality of life enabling them to continue living in, and contributing to, the community that they know and love.
“Beacon is proud to partner with First Shiloh Housing Corporations and our many public and private sector partners to bring this important undertaking to fruition. We look forward to expanding our efforts to deliver high-quality, affordable, and sustainable housing to tenants across Western New York and the rest of the state.”