Auburn City Council is set to vote next week on whether to apply for state grant funding that would help finance a developer’s downtown buildi…
An affordable housing developer and property manager is looking for Cayuga County’s support in seeking state funds to help convert an empty three-story, 25,000-square-foot building into apartments.
Housing Visions, a Syracuse-based nonprofit, is asking the Cayuga County Legislature to support an application for $2 million from the Restore NY Communities Initiative to help it acquire and develop 197 State St. in Auburn into 16 affordable housing apartments.
A resolution before the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee this week states that “Cayuga County wishes to combat the on-going community need to provide emergency, transitional and permanent housing to persons who are struggling with homelessness and to address the significant shortage of shelter beds in the community.” A public hearing on the proposal is set for the Legislature’s Sept. 27 meeting.
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The building at 197 State St. has been owned by the city of Auburn since 2019, following a tax foreclosure. Prior to that, it was used for about two decades as a physical therapy practice. Its original and longest use was as a community center and club called the Polish Home, which was owned by the Society of St. John the Baptist.
The city has been listing the property through Michael DeRosa Exchange. According to a description on the DeRosa website, features include an elevator to all floors, workout gym area, baths, showers and 10 treatment rooms. It is assessed at $405,000.
The county Legislature resolution says that Housing Vision’s work on the project could include “redesign, demolition, deconstruction and rehabilitation” work at the property. Housing Visions has offered to cover the 10% match that would be required by the state if the grant was awarded.
The State Street project is one of at least two potential Restore New York applications this year in Auburn. The Auburn City Council is considering sponsoring an application by R&M Real Estate Group to seek a $1.75 million grant under the program to redevelop the three-story, 13,000-square-foot property at 22 E. Genesee St. in the downtown area.