McGuire to buy, demolish and rebuild community center
A new North Buffalo Community Center, with the possible addition of affordable senior housing, is on the horizon.
McGuire Development Co. plans to buy and then demolish the one-story, 60-year-old city-owned building at 203 Sanders Road. It would then redevelop the site.
“This will be a win-win for North Buffalo,” said Delaware Council Member Joel Feroleto. “The community center is dated, and a new facility will be great for the neighborhood.”
Feroleto said adding affordable senior housing would also fill a community need.
“There are a lot of seniors who currently live in North Buffalo and never want to move out,” Feroleto said. “A big concern for them is to live on one level and not have to deal with stairs. This is an opportunity to keep them in North Buffalo, and live in a brand new apartment.”
A designated development agreement would require the space to remain a community center. Feroleto said the ability of the community center’s board of directors to continue making operational decisions would be codified.
A purchase price has not been set yet by the city’s Division of Real Estate. City records estimate the property value at $598,906.
The designated developer agreement is now before the Common Council. It is expected to be discussed in the Legislation Committee on Tuesday and could be voted on by the full Council on April 16.
There are no renderings of the planned development, but that’s because the developer wants to hear what the community wants.
“Having community engagement is a priority,” said Eunice Lewin, president of Impacto Consulting Associates, which will partner with the developer.
“This is not something we can do by ourselves,” Lewin said. “They live there, they know what their needs are. And together we can come up with the best project.”
Lewin said it’s too early for a timetable, but “we are moving as quickly as possible.”
A new roof with a $1 million price tag had been planned by the city. Feroleto discussed alternatives with the city’s Division of Real Estate, which led to an analysis and a developer request for qualifications. Three developers responded. The city chose McGuire Development on the recommendation of the North Buffalo Community Center board of directors.
Ron Deschenes, the community center’s board president, said he looks forward to the new building and what it would mean for seniors, who now eat meals, play bingo and cards, and do arts and crafts at the center.
“I feel ecstatic that this will be a good deal for North Buffalo,” Deschenes said. “To have senior citizens living above it will improve the community center. They are a very important part of it.”
A developer plans to demolish the 60-year-old building that houses the North Buffalo Community Center, at 203 Sanders Road, and replace it with a new community center with senior housing above it.