Savarino Companies

Ohio Street Lofts Proposal



Buffalo, N.Y. - 441 Ohio Street was condemned last year after some interior damage. The Buffalo Preservation Board designated the building as a historical landmark. Savarino Companies bought the building and plans to create 48 rental lofts in it.

"In our opinion, the historical integrity is gone and it's a danger and it can't be reused, so we plan to use the foundations that are existing on the building as part of our development," said Sam Savarino, Savarino Companies President and CEO.

Meanwhile, the Campaign for Greater Buffalo doesn't want the building to be torn down. It could stall construction as the group fights to keep the current building intact.

Savarino needs to apply for a demolition permit from the City. A public hearing would follow that.

"We had an architect and an engineer go through here and both of them said certainly the building can be renovated. It can be restored as a heritage center, a meeting center, an exposition center," said Tim Tielman, Campaign for Greater Buffalo Executive Director.

Congressman Brian Higgins, who has been promoting development of Ohio Street, is excited about the proposal.

"Park space like we have at the newly opened Buffalo Riverfest Park and Mutual Riverfront Park makes residential living even more attractive," said Higgins, (D).

Meanwhile, David Franczyk of the Buffalo Common Council thinks development is great for the City, but they should proceed with caution.

"Look at rehabbing the inside of it and maybe can put housing in that way as opposed to bringing it down to the foundation, so we should at least take a hard second look at it," said Franczyk.

If the permit is approved, construction could start in the spring.

Katie Cummings


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