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Buffalo politicians, clergy celebrate church's apartment project

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Local elected officials joined Buffalo-area clergy to break ground Thursday on what will be a senior apartment complex located next to a Genesee Street church. It's a project hailed by leaders for its development in a neighborhood many believe has been overlooked amidst Buffalo's other building booms.Numerous guests attended a groundbreaking ceremony that kicks off construction of a 10-unit senior apartment building next door to the Mount Aaron Missionary Baptist Church on the 500 block of Genesee Street.

Pastor Dwayne Jones says since taking over the once-struggling church back in 2006, it's been his goal to step up the church's commitment to the neighborhood.

"I believe the seniors of this community should have access to affordable, safe and clean housing, because they have given so much to the community," Pastor Jones said.

Elected officials took turns praising Jones for his investment into the neighborhood, including New York State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

"Some people complain that nothing was going to happen on the East Side," she said. "They complain because they're not involved in making anything happen on the East Side. This gentleman was buying vacant land, quietly, just buying land. Now he has the land available to do the development. He's a perfect example of what should be happening."

The 1-point-4 million dollar building construction is being funded through the City of Buffalo's Urban Renewal Agency. The apartment complex is expected to be completed next year.