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By: Kristen Mirand; Posted at 5:23 PM, May 22, 2023; and last updated 9:47 AM, May 23, 2023
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The future of the Commodore Perry Apartments is taking shape. Whether you're driving along Perry Street or the 190, you can't miss the boarded-up buildings. After sitting vacant for a few years, there are now plans to change that.
The Commodore Perry Complex was built more than 80 years ago. Of the nearly 700 apartments, about 280 sit vacant. By 2013 the vacancy rate here was 83 percent and eventually 100 percent by 2020.
The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority and the development group, Pennrose, have big plans to overhaul these blighted buildings.
"Converting anything from public housing even vacant public housing takes a village," Dylan Salmons, the Regional Vice President for Pennrose, said.
Salmon said they've spent the last year engaging with the community to learn what's old, what's new, and what needs to be added.
"We see a ton of opportunity here," Salmons added.
The plan, which was presented to the BMHA board of commissioners on Monday, is to knock down all the vacant apartments and build new ones.
This first phase would include 405 affordable housing units, with the goal to make this a safe, walkable community and add amenities like outdoor gardens and playgrounds.
Over time, the goal is to turn the Commodore Perry site into a mixed-income and mixed-housing neighborhood. Eventually, there would be over 1,000 apartments. There are also plans to add a retail corridor.
"The intention is to create both equity and replacement of deeply affordable public housing and some tiers of income so that will for people to age in place there and hopefully succeed," Salmons said.
The plan is to start the demolition process and construction between January and March of next year.