500 Seneca Street

Organization Name: The Community Preservation Corporation (financing) and 500 Seneca Street, LLC (developer)

Project Title: 500 Seneca Street

Project Location: Hydraulics District, Buffalo, NY

Project Goals:
500 Seneca Street transformed a vacant warehouse on a Brownfield site into a positive resource that provides housing and economic opportunity to the community, featuring Class A office space, a job training center, cultural space, a large multi-story interior green atrium area, a rooftop garden, and an on-site fitness center and cafe.

Project Description:
500 Seneca Street is an adaptive reuse project which converts a vacant warehouse and four surface parking lots into mixed-use property featuring 108 apartments affordable to the local workforce, as well as 150,000 s.f. of new office and retail space. Apartments range in size from 600 s.f. studio units to 1,500 s.f. two-bedroom units. Rents range from $740 to $800 for studios, $800 to $1,510 for one-bedroom units, and $1,000 to $1,925 for two-bedroom units. 500 Seneca Street was financed with a $24 million construction loan from CPC that included a $9 million Citibank participation, and a SONYMA-insured $18.7 million permanent loan through the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Additional financing was provided through a collaborative effort between the developer, City of Buffalo, and Erie County Industrial Development Agency. The project, uniquely structured using PILOT Increment Financing, also provides infrastructure and streetscape improvements in the downtown district.

Community Impact:
500 Seneca Street is a striking example of the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Buffalo Building Reuse Project, promoting adaptive reuse and mixed-use around the downtown core. 500 Seneca St. makes a significant contribution to the needs of the community by providing ample housing and employment opportunities in close proximity to Buffalo’s entertainment and cultural district and the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. With strong indicators of growth in the area, it is important to Buffalo’s economy that there be sufficient housing to accommodate this growth.

The project successfully remediated a Brownfield site through the Brownfield Cleanup Program. Using Historic Tax Credits, 500 Seneca St. also preserves the structure that once housed the F.N. Burt Company manufacturing plant and headquarters – once the world’s largest paper box manufacturer. CJS Architects incorporates historic artifacts and photos as art to tell the story of the building’s unique history.

Organization Description:
The Community Preservation Corporation, Inc. (CPC) is a non-profit lender providing reliable capital to underserved neighborhoods throughout New York State since 1974. A nationally recognized leader in affordable housing finance, CPC is committed to delivering financing and technical expertise, and to working with community partners to create and preserve affordable housing. To date, CPC has invested more than $9 billion in over 159,000 units of housing. For more information, please visit www.communityp.com. 500 Seneca Street, LLC is comprised of Frontier Group of Companies and Savarino Companies, LLC, both based in Buffalo. Savarino Companies is seasoned in all aspects of construction and development. Savarino constructed the project and is responsible for lease-up and management. Frontier Group is a veteran real estate investment and development firm with several successful adaptive reuse projects in its portfolio. Frontier Group has partnered with Savarino on several projects.

    500 Seneca Street Exterior

    Atrium

    Apartment

    Office Space

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