The Board of Commissioners of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) is taking bold steps to renovate three housing units. This investment in the facility will be the largest renovation initiative in BMHA history and comes at a time when urban housing is more important than ever due to the pandemic. The three residences that will be “redesigned, redesigned and relocated” are Commodore Perry, Marine Drive (pictured above) and Schaffer Villa. Meanwhile, the BMHA Board unanimously voted to “negotiate with the three development groups to build comprehensive plans.”
“The redevelopment of Perry, Schaffer and Marine Drive shows an extraordinary opportunity to change the shape of public housing in Buffalo. The three teams selected today represent a mix of experienced domestic and local developers with successful records,” said BMHA executive director. Gillian D. Brown. “Under the leadership of Mayor Brown and in partnership with the City of Buffalo, BMHA can now begin a comprehensive renovation of some of our oldest and most difficult homes. With the continued health of this large family, we show our continued confidence. that there is room in this city for public housing, and public housing may be the chosen housing, not the latter.
“Obviously, COVID-19 poses new challenges to state planning, but we hope that a strong and comprehensive planning process can be completed by 2021 so that construction can begin as soon as possible. These projects involve all different phases and millions of dollars in public and private funding. ”
This past February, BMHA is a national application, looking for highly qualified candidates who can address the project. Of the 17 developers and development teams tested, seven were nominated. The three eventually climbed to the top. The next step for Gillian D. Brown is to negotiate with the teams to develop Master Development Agreements. The agreements should be valid until January 2021, when the planning phase begins. Finally, construction is expected to begin in 2022.
The RFQ Evaluation Committee, which included BMHA Brown Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director Modesto Candelario, BMHA General Adviser Roslin L. McLean, Brendan Mehaffy, Executive Director of the Buffalo Strategic Planning Office, and Planning Director Nadine Marre:
Commodore Perry – Pennrose LLC, headquartered in New York City
Pennrose proposes to renovate Perry as a bridge between Canalside and Larkinville, and to renovate and expand Perry’s 2014 Selection Plan, returning life to Perry’s acres, which have hundreds of vacant and dilapidated apartment buildings. WRT Design + Planning, a Philadelphia-based company that developed the Perry Choice plan, will be part of the Pennrose team.
- 50 years as a fully-fledged private real estate development company;
- One of the leading developers of mixed income and mixed financing with 4,500 units, which has generated more than $ 1.3 billion since 2015;
- Strong relationship with HUD in regional and national;
- The Pennrose Group has extensive experience in all aspects of the pre-development process and has a high level of participation from residents, stakeholders and selected individuals.
Marine Drive – The Habitat Co., Chicago and Duvernay + Brooks (D + B), City New York
The Habitat / D&B team proposes to revise the entire Marine Drive layout and create a mixed development with mixed revenue. The team wants to open up the inside of the property to better connect it with the beach and Buffalo and Erie County and the military park. The companies also want to add educational, social and medical services to Marine Drive.
- The Habitat Co./Duvernay + Brooks team has 70 years of joint experience in housing finance and development;
- 15,000 affordable housing and mixed-income housing valued at $ 2.7 billion, including projects with five state housing authorities in New York State;
- D + B is a state-certified business owned by a woman, and both companies have registered local minorities and small businesses and women in the use of their projects.
Shaffer Village – Buffalo Equality Housing Partnership (partnership of The Richman Group, Stamford, CT, JHM Financial Group, New York City and Penman Development Partners, of Buffalo)
BEH Group proposes to expand Shaffer by changing its layout, constructing a vacant lot and merging the property boundaries with the surrounding area. Its vision includes a new mix of construction and renovation of existing housing, including a large community center and the addition of local social services.
- Sustained record of financing and affordable housing;
- In-depth experience working with HUD and public housing authorities;
- Combining regional and local development experience with a total portfolio of more than 150,000 homes valued at more than $ 1 billion.
“BMHA’s action today reinforces my administration’s commitment to affordable housing and brings Buffalo closer to my vision of 40 percent of Buffalo’s housing stock to stay forever. It will be one of the largest affordable housing investments in the county and one of the largest development investments in Buffalo in the next decade. Through creative and thoughtful planning that engages BMHA residents, these efforts will transform old structures and misused sites into housing that is compatible with the new Buffalo, but more importantly, housing, health, and economic benefits that have a positive impact on residents from BMHA for generations, ”said Mayor Byron W. Brown.
Along with this is the remarkable news of BMHA to improve housing development, the Board also announced that additional funding of approximately $ 1.9 million will be provided to replace the roofs of the six high-rise residential towers in Perry’s development. Allstate General Contracting, of Western Seneca, has been contracted to begin work next spring.