The Buffalo Planning Board has approved developer Rocco Termini's proposal to transform a North Buffalo machine shop into his latest mixed-use project.
The next step will be formal approval from the Buffalo Common Council as well as the completion of a series of environmental tests and due diligence.
Termini wants to renovate the Grote Street shop, where parts for Pierce Arrows were once made, into the $6 million "Houk Lofts."
"The planning board approval is the first step," Termini said.
Initial plans call for Termini to convert most of the building in 23 market-rate apartments while using a portion of the first floor for what he described as "unique" retail.
The project is named after the former Houk Wire Wheel Co. that produced wire wheels for the Pierce Arrow auto company, whose sole plant was located nearby at the corner of Elmwood and Great Arrow avenues. Several other manufacturers operated out of the building.
Termini has had the building under contract since last summer. The deal won't close until all the environmental studies are completed and the necessary City of Buffalo permits have been approved.
"Ideally, I'd like to be underway by this spring," Termini said.
The Houk Lofts is one of two Termini developments is considering in the North Buffalo area. He is also looking into purchasing the former FWS Warehouse building on Elmwood Avenue for a mixed-use development, also anchored by apartments.