Nearly two months after the long-awaited demolition of the Commodore Perry Homes began in mid-April, construction is set to begin on new developments that will once again bring more affordable housing to Buffalo’s downtown core.

In all, 405 units in 27 all-electric buildings are expected to fill the space, which has a development cost of $254 million, including $21.9 million in tax-exempt bonds, $115.7 million in state and federal low-income tax credits, and several million additional dollars in funding from state and local grants and credits.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) was in town for the groundbreaking earlier this week, celebrating the effort to take what has been a blighted and neglected series of buildings and turn it into safe, new homes for city residents.

“We are transforming the Perry Homes site from a symbol of decline and decay to a symbol of rebirth and resurgence,” she 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.”

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority has been working in partnership with the governor’s office to redevelop the site, beginning with an 18-acre portion of the existing property.

In April, 24 “derelict and vacant structures that had been boarded up for a decade” were torn down to allow construction to begin. Those buildings will be replaced with 27 new apartment structures, including “three mid-rise, mixed-use buildings with 9,000 square feet of commercial space, and 24 two- and three-story townhouse style garden apartment buildings,” according to Hochul’s office.

In all, there will be 405 new 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,” the statement continues.

Residents of the new homes will have access to an on-site property management office, maintenance office, mail and package rooms, community meeting rooms with a kitchenette, three fitness centers, and shared laundry facilities on each floor. Bicycle storage also will be provided, as will four playgrounds throughout the campus, in addition to two outdoor plazas with picnic and card tables, tree groves, and rain gardens to support stormwater retention and mitigation.

Additionally, residents will be provided free broadband internet and wifi services and there will be 30 electric vehicle charging stations for use by tenants, visitors, and staff.

This project has broad support from community leaders and local elected officials.

“Affordable housing is a critical need in our community and creating more of it is a high priority,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “This project reinvigorates the Perry neighborhood in South Buffalo and I think Governor Hochul for her continued focus on the affordable housing issue.”

Felecia Bell, president of the Commodore Perry Tenants Council, welcomes the new life coming to the neighborhood.

“It’s been an eyesore for years. We’ve seen it over the years decline and we would like to be Perry proud so that we can say we’re proud to say where we live,” she said. “I just want to see a better state of life for the residents here. I want a new neighborhood - maybe a bank down here, a grocery store, something so we can be proud.”

Current Memorial for 5/14 Victims

Gallery Credit: Amber Healey

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