Property Development Updates
On May 13, 2021, a request for an area variance from the Town of East Aurora was granted to build 24 units for Home of My Own of WNY by developer Jim Cornell. The next step in the process was approval of our site plans and application, which we received on September 7, 2021. This approval included the condition that the project move forward with Home of My Own of WNY on the master lease specifically for the IDD population.
The property, located at 300 Gleed St. in East Aurora, was once a warehouse for Fisher Price, as well as the original location of Explore and More. While over the years it has also been home to a school, village and town offices, as well as other uses, Mr. Cornell has found it difficult to lease the space due to the location in a residential neighborhood. This offered Home of My Own a perfect location for collaboration, as Mr. Cornell has enthusiastically embraced our mission. The opportunity to build a residential community in a walkable neighborhood in the Village of East Aurora is perfectly suited to our mission, vision and values.
Currently, our Proforma for this project is a work in progress. Numbers and assumptions need to be verified so that we can determine the feasibility and sustainability of our project on Gleed St. As far as funding for the project, Mr. Cornell has indicated his expectation that we match his equity in the project, valued at approximately $1M, with our contribution of $1M. This contribution to the project will serve several purposes. First, this indicates our “skin in the game”, as most of the risk taking on this project is with Mr. Cornell. Secondly, this indicates to the bank that will help fund the project that there is a serious and dedicated organization involved in the project. And finally, this will help to defray some of the costs of the overall project, to help keep costs as low as possible. This funding will come from a combination of grants, donations, and private funding. The overall cost of the build out is estimated at between $4.5 and $5M.
Site plans are being worked on to be sure we are creating the best possible layouts for our residents, along with a core vision, which is our shared space to encourage learning and socialization.
In September, 2021, we receive unanimous approval from the village board of East Aurora for our special use permit and site plan. Our Property Development Committee is working on the details including financing, staff, program coordination, residential assessment tools, and long-term sustainability for our project.
We have a long road ahead, but we are on the way!
The Northowns Property Committee continues to research potential sites for a Northowns Home of my Own apartment community. We are working with the Town of Amherst and with two developers who have indicated an interest in helping us make our vision a reality. No property has risen to the top as of yet, but we continue to scour Amherst and Tonawanda for potential properties.
If you are aware of a property that we should consider, please let us know.