Via the Buffalo News
By Jay Rey
A large redevelopment project in Amherst took a step forward last week with the rezoning of an old Eggertsville school.
The Amherst Town Board rezoned the 3.4-acre property at 1350 Eggert Road, paving the way for the redevelopment of the former Eggert Road Elementary School into apartments and office space.
Ellicott Development Co., owned by Carl and William Paladino, wants to begin work later this year, although the project still needs site plan approval from the Planning Board, as well as a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals allowing residential units on the first floor of the mixed-use project.
“We remain hopeful we will be in a position to receive site-plan approval from the Planning Board by the end of the June so that the extensive building renovations and site improvements can begin during the summer or by early fall, at the least,” Thomas M. Fox, the project manager, said in a recent letter to town officials.
The building was the old Eggert Road Elementary School until the Cantalician Center purchased it from the Amherst Central School District in 1982.
The building housed programs for children with developmental disabilities, but when the Cantalician Center consolidated facilities, the property was sold last summer to Ellicott Development for $700,000.
The town considered this an important reuse project, because of its size and location of the building, which is situated on the west side of Eggert, between Main Street and Crosby Boulevard. The project received a unanimous endorsement by the board, which voted 5-0 in favor of the rezoning. “The project is going to be a great fit for that neighborhood,” said Councilmember Guy R. Marlette.
Nearby residents did raise several concerns about the project during public hearings before the Town and Planning boards, but the plan was generally accepted and received an endorsement by the Eggertsville Community Organization, a neighborhood group.
The brick building ranges from a single story at the south end to three stories at the north end.
Plans show a 9,700-square-foot addition at the north end – which would be no higher than the current height of the building – bringing the size of the building to nearly 66,000 square feet.
The project will include 5,100 square feet of first-floor office space, and 38 “upscale” apartments with rents ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 a month. Ellicott Development hopes to target young professionals, empty nesters and senior citizens as renters.
Plans show a total of 94 parking spaces.
“We anticipate it will take approximately seven months to complete the redevelopment project from the date construction begins,” Fox said in his letter. “Our goal is to have completed renovated, upscale apartments and the limited amount of proposed first-floor office space available for occupancy by late spring or early summer of 2015.”