Better Buffalo Fund Project Supports Revitalization of Hamlin Park Historic District with Conversion of Former Otis Bed Manufacturing Company into Mixed-Use Project
Photos of Project Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening for The Mattress Factory, a new mixed-use project on Buffalo's East Side. The $6.5 million development price tag for The Mattress Factory, which has been transformed into 34 market rate apartments and office space for Preservation Studios, was completed with a $500,000 loan from the Better Buffalo Fund. The Better Buffalo Fund is a vital component of the Buffalo Billion initiative, and is dedicated to projects that revitalize neighborhood commercial districts and encourage density and growth along transportation corridors.
"With the opening of the Mattress Factory, the City of Buffalo is poised to continue its economic renaissance while preserving the historic significance of this facility," Governor Cuomo said. "This historic rehab on Buffalo's East Side will help to further transform this neighborhood into a vital economic engine for Western New York."
Construction of the project at the 170 Florida Street facility began in November 2016 and concluded in December 2017. Leasing for the one- and two-bedroom apartments has been steady since it began in November 2017. The two-story building is in the historic Hamlin Park neighborhood, an area recently experiencing rejuvenation. The building has been repurposed under the federal Preservation Guidelines and is now on the National Register for Historic Buildings. All historic features such as windows have been meticulously retrofitted or replaced.
"The Better Buffalo Fund, initiated as part of the Buffalo Billion, recognizes the critical importance of vibrant neighborhoods to Buffalo's economic resurgence through revitalized storefronts and restored properties, especially on the city's East Side," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today's ribbon cutting. "These beautiful apartments will bring new life to this corridor, and this collaboration between our Administration and private sector partners demonstrates our collective investment and faith in the new Buffalo."
The conversion of the former Otis Bed Company building, which made and sold mattresses in the late 1900s, is one of the first significant rehab projects on Buffalo's East Side in recent years, it is also one of the largest private-sector projects in the Hamlin Park Historic District.
This project was developed and completed by Frizlen Group Development and Common Bond Real Estate LLC, both located in Western New York, with the assistance of a $500,000 loan from the Better Buffalo Fund.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Better Buffalo Fund is one of our most effective tools for development projects in the City of Buffalo. The Mattress Factory project represents a real opportunity for growth, with a great location near Hamlin Park and Canisius College, as well as a major transit corridor, these new units will undoubtedly be in high-demand."
Congressman Brian Higgins said, "This new life for Buffalo Mattress Factory represents a foresight to reimaging our historic buildings, a commitment to invest in historic neighborhoods and this region's capacity to adapt in a way that embraces our past while building our future. This is yet another example of the significant role federal and state historic tax credits play in transforming communities."
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "As Buffalo's economy continues to be re-energized by growth and development, it's critical that we embrace new advancement while also working to preserve the rich cultural and architectural gems our city holds. I'm proud to see The Mattress Factory transformed into a reused commercial and residential space on Buffalo's East Side. Under the Governor's leadership, we're once again witnessing the strategic investment New York State is making in our communities and our neighborhoods."
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "It's fitting that one of the largest projects completed on the East Side would be in the historic Hamlin Park neighborhood and would complement it by being on the historic register itself. I'd like to congratulate the entire Mattress Factory development and construction teams on a job well done and alongside the community welcome all of the tenants to Hamlin Park."
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "The historic Hamlin Park neighborhood is taking another step forward with the transformation of the Mattress Factory, which is springing back to life and will now feature housing and office space. This project is a great revitalization of an old building that is now preserved and once again anchoring the community."
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for allocating $500,000 of the Better Buffalo Fund for the $6.5 million mixed-use redevelopment on this 1911 building in Buffalo's historic Hamlin Park neighborhood. Congratulations to The Mattress Factory on your ribbon cutting today, and thank you to all involved in the project who are committed to continuing the success we're seeing citywide."
Jason Yots, Principal of Common Bond Real Estate LLC, said, "Thanks to historic tax credits and the Better Buffalo Fund, we were able to convert an underutilized factory building into a vibrant mixed-use project. Without those resources, our project would have been infeasible."
In December 2017, Governor Cuomo announced applications are now available for Round Three of the $40 million Better Buffalo Fund. The launch of Round Three builds on funding awarded through Round Two of the Better Buffalo Fund, which included a total of $9,130,042 awarded to 14 projects. These projects are renovating more than 250 residential units and more than 140,000 square-feet of store front and commercial space, while also leveraging over $131.4 million in private investment. To apply for funding through Round Three of the Better Buffalo Fund, the application and materials are available here and due February 1, 2018 at 4 p.m.