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Plan to turn old brewery into loft apartments moves forward

Photo from Google Streetview Maps
Vacant building on Washington Street, Buffalo, New York

In an earlier era, the building at Washington and  Virginia streets was home to a brewery.

A developer's plan to turn the former Phoenix Brewery into an upscale luxury apartment complex moved forward today when the city Planning Board agreed to serve as lead agency for the $5 million project.

The developer, Sinatra and Company,  hopes to receive approval from state historic preservation officials soon. The goal is to transform the nearly-empty building on the edge of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus into a 30-unit, loft-style residential complex by next summer. Matt Connors, Sinatra's vice president of development, said the complex will include some features with an industrial feel.

"We'll keep the exposed brick, high ceilings, exposed duct work. We're going to probably go with concrete floors [and] some industrial high-end finishes," he said.

The complex will also likely include a rooftop garden, said Jonathan H. Morris of Carmina Wood Morris, the project's architect.

Developers hope to snare historic tax credits to help finance renovation costs.

Planning Board Vice Chair Cynthia Schwartz said that for years, she has driven by the old brewery on her way to work at Roswell Park Cancer Center.

"It is such a pleasure to see this building come back to life. It's just got such great bones. It's just been waiting for someone to do the right thing with it," she said.