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New market-rate apartments planned for the Hertel-Starin neighborhood


A decrepit parking lot on Hertel Avenue may soon be replaced by two large apartment buildings, reflecting the shift to rental housing in that neighborhood.

The parking lot at 1685 Hertel Avenue near Starin Avenue has been there for decades, from the original development of the area, through the slowdown of the Great Recession, and through the slow recovery of the economy and the continuing strength of North Buffalo.

Now, architect and developer Karl Frizlen is planning to build two apartment buildings with a total of 18 units, at a cost of $3 million. The project, which has already been approved by the Zoning Board, goes before the Planning Board next week.

Frizlen says the project is pretty straightforward.

"We want to put two buildings there, each containing nine apartment units, for a total of 18 units, with two small storefronts, not larger than 700 square feet," he told WBFO.

Frizlen says if he gets Planning Board approval, he will apply for building permits. He wants to start putting in the foundations in the fall, and hopes to complete the complex by late spring, which he says is a good time of year to rent.

The apartments will have the latest in heating, air conditioning and Internet connectivity, things he says today's renters want in addition to the location in a successful, walkable neighborhood. Frizlen says he's built similar projects that are fully rented and have waiting lists.

Rents will range from $950 to $1250 per month.

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.