Construction Watch: Cynthia Gardens

December 25th, 2012, 8:00AM, BUFFALO RISING ONLINE
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Heart of the City Neighborhoods is building eight units of green, affordable housing on the city’s Lower West Side.  The project is being constructed at 294-302 Hudson Street between Plymouth and West avenues.

The two townhouse-style buildings designed by Stieglitz Snyder Architecture reflect the neighborhood’s historic character and will contain four apartments each.  Four 2-bedroom, 900 sq.ft. apartments and four 3-bedroom 1,100 sq.ft. apartments will be available to eligible low-income households.  Parking for eight cars will be located at the rear of the buildings.

The new development will comply with the standards of New York’s Energy Efficiency and Green Building Initiative using energy efficient windows, appliances and other technology to save residents hundreds of dollars.  The exterior will be clad in fiber cement or “hardie board” siding.

The project site has an interesting history. From Chris Brown, President of the Kleinhan’s Community Association:

The property is a natural knoll that attracted Buffalo Mayor Pierre Barker (1837-38) to build a country mansion there in 1834 (photo above).

Benjamin Rathbun, the builder of Barker’s country mansion, was a famous Buffalo builder who was prolific in the 1830s. The home was purchased in the early 1840s by Jonathan Sidway and was commonly known as the Sidway Mansion until it was demolished about 1892. The original barn still stands and is located behind 34 Plymouth Avenue.

An apartment building was built on the site in 1895 and demolished in 2001 after a fire ravaged the property.

First proposed in 2006, it took several years to locate financial resources to support the development.  A $1.5 million award from New York’s Housing Trust Fund Corporation helped make the project possible.

Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. (HOCN) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Community Development Corporation created to stabilize Buffalo’s communities in the Lower West Side through redevelopment, neighborhood stabilization, and affordable housing development.

HOCN’s Hudson Street Revitalization Initiative employs a strategy of selective acquisition of vacant, dilapidated properties for rehabilitation and resale to new home owners, and development of vacant lot infill housing.

Get Connected: Heart of the City Neighborhoods: 716.882.7661

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