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Old Posted Feb 11, 2020, 9:12 PM
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Buffalo Apartment Boom Prompts Question: Time For Condos?

Buffalo Apartment Boom Prompts Question: Time For Condos?


February 11, 2020

By Jonathan D. Epstein



Read More: https://buffalonews.com/2020/02/11/b...me-for-condos/

Quote:
Is it time for condos in downtown Buffalo? Developers have been rapidly putting up new apartments in the city's core, seeking to fill a demand for urban living, while taking advantage of generous tax credits to finance the projects. Today, there are twice as many apartments in downtown's Central Business District as there were 10 years ago and developers are in the midst of construction projects that will increase the supply by more than 20%. But where are the condos?

- Project economics are a factor. Developers and city officials say condo sale prices are still not high enough in Buffalo to make the projects work without tax breaks or other subsidies, especially if the project involves infill developments. Private lenders also want to see evidence that the condos will sell, which puts an extra burden on developers. --- "They need something to bring to the bank that says there is demand and we need to put something up there," said Rocco Termini, who has called for a new study to justify that effort. The bottom line: It's much easier to find renters in the city than buyers. --- "It's a lot easier to take a risk on an apartment than a condo," Ciminelli said. "It's a lot easier trying out a neighborhood with a lease than a mortgage." That might be changing.

- Developers say there's a critical mass of residents that is already changing the dynamic of the city's core. In turn, that has bolstered the potential for condos. If all of the apartment projects that have been proposed but haven't started construction are completed, it will increase the Central Business District's supply of apartments by another third, giving the district more than three times as many units as it had in 2009. --- It's a similar story in the broader downtown area, which stretches from roughly KeyBank Center to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and both east and west of the core. The number of apartments in place or under construction is up 50% since 2009 and projects that would increase the supply by another 25% have been proposed.

- The new apartments are also fully leased, resulting in 2,500 residents living in the Central Business District, and more than 5,100 in all of downtown. "You always have some churn, but downtown from our perspective is not a challenge to fill those apartments," Ciminelli said. --- If the market turns to condos, it likely will be through sizable projects with substantial density, built on vacant parcels, including surface parking lots whose owners aren't eager to give up the easy revenue. Termini wants to form a builder's co-op, in which a group of developers combine resources, split the investment and share the risk on a project. He has suggested the site of the city-owned Mohawk Ramp could be a good starting place for the first project.

.....



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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2020, 1:27 AM
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Glad to see this for Buffalo. I think they may still have a bit more to go before condos start popping up though. In Cleveland, our first new downtown condo building since the housing crash just got under construction (others have converted from apartments to condos since then, as well as townhouses downtown). Its a relatively modest building, but its taken alot to get just to this point where the market can support it. Buffalo is a very similar market, but smaller, and from what I've seen still further behind than where Cleveland is in terms of downtown revitalization. But if they can find a way for condos to work sooner then, all the better
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2020, 7:37 PM
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Buffalo has great bones, would love to see it grow.
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2020, 9:25 PM
IrishIllini IrishIllini is offline
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^ The entirety of the interior NE and Midwest has great bones and it would be great to see them grow.
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Old Posted Feb 13, 2020, 9:33 PM
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If Buffalo starts getting on the condo boom trend, Toronto and Buffalo can be twinsies again, just like old times!

I have a feeling that Buffalo and Toronto were closer back in the day but over the generations, their culture/trajectory has trended apart (and back in the day, it was Buffalo that was the boomtown). Maybe they can be more alike again.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2020, 6:46 PM
Maldive Maldive is offline
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LOL

Other than hockey, Toronto and Buffalo are actually great friends.

Sometimes great chicken wings and underage drinkin' bonds.

A condo build might inspire-not sure if they are willing to pay.

But will happen soon.

P.S. hire HP

Talkin' Proud
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2020, 9:48 PM
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I keep saying, Buffalo should sell the waterfront lands to a Chinese developer and watch a hundred condos bloom . Vancouverism, that is
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2020, 11:21 PM
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Maybe a Canadian developer that can have Canadian tenants living there temporarily and or renting them out to locals, so the locals can still rent downtown.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2020, 3:55 AM
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Im cheering for Buffalo.. be great to become a US destination.

From what Ive seen, some real effort has been focused on Western NY by the state level.
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