Construction nearly complete on new affordable housing project in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Construction is almost complete on a new affordable housing project in Buffalo that will feature mixed-use and commercial space.

The Monroe, located on the corner of Main Street and Lafayette Avenue, has been in the works for over four years. The $8.4 million project, which is being financed by both local and state groups, is on the site of the former Record Theatre in Buffalo’s Hamlin Park neighborhood. The area also once held a historic car dealership.

The site will feature 17 affordable apartments, a Persian-themed restaurant, two more international restaurants, a beauty salon and a co-working space.

Developers are targeting a July 1 opening date for the apartments, but it could also be as soon as June 1. The commercial spaces are expected to open later on in the summer.

“Our goal is to provide affordable housing with finishes and comforts that market-rate housing has,” project developer Jason Yots said. “There’s no reason that people should accept an inferior product because they can’t afford escalating rents. We offer nice opportunities at very affordable rents.”

The area of the project was chosen due to its location, which is right in the middle of Buffalo, near the Elmwood Village. It’s in close proximity to downtown, right around the corner from Canisius University and on major transportation lines.

“If you look at a map of Buffalo it’s almost in the dead center of the city,” Yots said. “It made sense for us. Hamlin Park to the east is a very strong neighborhood, Elmwood Village to the west is a very strong neighborhood … so we felt it was a great spot not just for housing, but for affordable housing.”

They will also be making sure to preserve the history of the building as well as the entire area.

“This project was driven by historic preservation. This building is historic because of its role in Buffalo’s rich automobile history,” Yots said. “It was win-win for the community. We preserved an asset, we gave investors an opportunity to make money and as developers, we delivered a project we’re proud of.”

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

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