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60 new market-rate apartments planned for Larkinville

Passero Associates
A rendering for the new Iroquois Lofts.

Another of the old manufacturing plants in Larkinville is going to be converted into market-rate apartments with a Rochester firm piggy-backing on other developers in the burgeoning community.Park Grove Realty wants Iroquois Lofts to open in the summer of next year. It is named for the old Iroquois Door manufacturing plant which once made wooden windows and doors inside.

Park Grove partner Andrew Crossed told the Buffalo Planning Board Monday the cost of the project is not yet clear, as the developer goes out and seeks construction bids. The building requires substantial inside work, including pumping out the basement, masonry work and knocking down an adjacent wooden building for around 30 parking spaces.

Architect Pete Wehner said the results will be visible.

"Our intention is to replace all the windows. There's a mixture of double-hung and steel windows which will all be replaced with basically a defined type of windows that meet current energy standards," Wehner said. "We're looking to restore the masonry along the building. All of the repointing is being done. All of the facades will be gently cleaned."

"We're doing about 60 apartment units," said Passero Associates Senior Project Engineer Matthew Newcomb. "There's about 8,000 square feet of commercial space proposed. In addition to that, there's another 5,500 square feet that could be either additional commercial space or potentially a restaurant or some sort of retail."

The basic building carries a little cachet because it was designed by Louise Bethune, the first woman professional architect in the country. Bethune designed the Hotel Lafayette.

"We think this building is the right size for us, as a company, and it's extremely underutilized," said Crossed. "We have deep expertise in historic rehabs. That's kind what of our bread and butter is. We think this is a perfect historic rehab opportunity."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.