Ellicott Development seeks IDA help for church project

December 29, 2011 Updated Dec 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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December 29, 2011 Updated Dec 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM EDT

As Ellicott Development Co. moves forward with its renovation plans for a 112-year-old Buffalo church, the company is also looking to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for help with the project.

The county IDA has set a Jan. 6 public hearing to consider an incentive package for the project, slated for 189 N. Pearl St. near Main Street and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The full IDA board will likely consider the package when it meets on Jan. 9.

Plans call for 4628 Group Inc., an Ellicott Development affiliate, to turn the circa 1899, three-story church into a mixed-use, market-rate apartment complex, anchored by 11 units and 6,000 square feet of commercial space. The units will be a mix between two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments.

The renovation and restoration costs could top $3 million, although final cost estimates are still being determined.

John Cappellino, Erie County Industrial Development Agency executive vice president and director of business development, said the application is being reviewed.

"It looks like a nice addition to all the work we are seeing take place downtown," Cappellino said. "This is a sign of residential building growing in Buffalo's urban core."

Ellicott Development's 4628 Group bought the building for $100,000 in April from the New Life Assembly of God Church. The deal was brokered by Chris Malachowski from Hunt Real Estate Corp.

The structure was originally constructed as the home for the First Baptist Church of Buffalo and is considered a local historic landmark.

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