Savarino Companies

Vacant School Building on East Side to get New Life as Homeless Shelter

Buffalo News


A vacant school building on the East Side, with broken windows,
graffiti and weeds growing through what used to be a playground and
parking lot, is expected to be gutted and get new life as a homeless
shelter and center for human services.

The former Broadway Village Community Elementary School, or School 57, on Sears Street, closed 10 years ago, but the leadership of the adjacent Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human
Services Center is redeveloping it with Savarino Cos.

Plans for the building include a food pantry, medical and dental clinic, job
training, an emergency shelter and 18 apartments for homeless women. The
project will cost $8.6 million, or more, depending on the condition of
the building, and construction could begin next year, said Marlies A.
Wesolowski, Executive Director of the Matt Urban Center.

"They need to do something," said Ronnie Turner, a landlord who owns a house adjacent to the vacant school.

Tuesday, the Common Council agreed to designate the Urban Center as developer
for the property. The center must make progress on purchasing the site
within 18 months, or the agreement expires.

The council also approved another significant project on the East Side on Tuesday when it agreed to sell 18 parcels of city land for $43,345 to developers of
Gospa Village, a 12-unit, single-family housing development for at-risk
mothers run by St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, near the Mission at Oberlin,
Ruhland and Walden Avenues, and Sycamore Street.

Funding is in place for four of the units; construction is expected to begin in August
or September, and will take several years to complete.

Jill Terreri


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