Long vacant and considered a community eyesore, the former Buffalo School No. 60 is coming back to life as apartment complex.
City officials gathered by the Ontario Street building to watch as work formally began on the conversion of the school into the Riverside Apartments, a $20 million project being undertaken by DePaul Key Housing. The complex will feature 68 units and will be marketed to low-to-moderate income families.
"The only way you can strengthen the fabric of neighborhoods like Riverside to foster new investment dollars," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, a supporter of the conversion project. "Something like this huge for the Riverside community."
Plans call for the bulk of the building to house 57 one-bedroom units. Also in the works are plans for 10 studio apartments and one two-bedroom unit.
The work is being overseen by R&P Oak Hill, which is serving as the construction manager.
A portion of the project's funding, approximately $1.5 million, is coming from HOME funds allocated to Buffalo. Another $3.25 million is coming from state allocations made to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.
Officials expect the conversion to be completed by next fall.