New Life for Church Site

November 26, 2012 Updated Nov 26, 2012 at 7:10 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

...
November 26, 2012 Updated Nov 26, 2012 at 7:10 AM EDT

A recently vacated North Buffalo church is poised to find a new life as a market-rate apartment complex.

Creative Structure Services, which has two similar North Buffalo projects in its pipeline, will be meeting with city officials next week to present its plans for converting the former Buffalo Covenant Church on Kenmore Avenue into a 12-apartment complex that will also house 2,200-square-feet of office space. The project carries a $1.3 million development price tag.

David Pawlik, CSS co-founder, said he will be meeting with the Buffalo Zoning Board of Appeals on Nov. 28 to review the project.

CSS has the church under contract and hopes to close on the deal in January. Construction, pending various Buffalo approvals, is slated to start in February.

The deal comes after Pawlik and CSS renovated the former Parkside Lutheran Church into a mixed-use residential/office complex two years ago and is in the process of renovating the historic former Fairfield Library on Amherst Street into a residential complex.

"This is our North Buffalo trilogy," Pawlik said.

The church, which dates back to the early 1930s, closed early this year because of dwindling membership. Its congregation had less than 40 members.

Pawlik said plans call for a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and loft units to be developed inside the church and adjoining school property. The property comes with 75 parking spaces.

"The exterior is in great shape, but it does have some interior challenges," Pawlik said.

While the bulk of the project will be privately financed, Pawlik said he expects to talk to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency about some sales tax breaks that will help with gap financing issues.

The project has been dubbed the KLP Commons, after Pawlik's sister, Karen, who died of ovarian cancer two years ago.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.