WHEATFIELD – The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency is considering a 15-year property tax break for an apartment conversion of the vacant former Fairchild Manor Nursing Home in Lewiston.
The IDA board received two other tax abatement applications Wednesday for renovations of existing businesses, one in Lockport and the other in North Tonawanda, and also approved a tax break for the Wurlitzer Industrial Park in North Tonawanda.
The Fairchild Manor plan came from James Jerge, of Orchard Park, who earlier this year formed a company called 765 Fairchild Place LLC, after the nursing home’s address, and bought it from DLZ Capital of Brooklyn for $375,000.
The plan is to convert the 25,000-square-foot, one-story building into 30 apartments to be rented at market rates. The project could cost as much as $4 million, according to Robert Savarino, the Amherst developer working on it.
“There’s no restriction on the age of the residents,” Savarino said. “This is not subsidized housing. It will be upscale.”
Jerge, a landlord for 15 years, owns apartment buildings in Buffalo, Orchard Park, Williamsville and Rochester. Savarino said the project will take eight to 10 months to complete.
The nursing home closed in 2011. It was founded by the family of IDA Chairman Henry M. Sloma in 1964; they sold it in 2000. “At this point, I have absolutely no connection to 765 Fairchild,” said Sloma, who was the nursing home’s administrator for many years.
The IDA will hold public hearings, yet to be scheduled, on the Fairchild project and on tax breaks sought by Reid Petroleum of Lockport and Irr Supply Centers of North Tonawanda.
Reid is seeking a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, arrangement on a two-story, 7,560-square-foot addition to its headquarters at 100 W. Genesee St., Lockport. The $1.37 million project will enable the company to move nine employees in the corporate office of its Crosby Stores chain from Brockport to Lockport, and also to expand its accounting department, according to Reid real estate specialist Michael Mahar.
The Crosby convenience store chain includes 48 stores, five in Niagara County, with two under construction in Pennsylvania, Mahar said. He said the company never considered moving its headquarters out of Lockport, but the tax break was sought because, “It was a much larger expansion than we had expected.”
Michael Duffy, president of Irr Supply, said he wants to make over his building at 908 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda, behind the Wurlitzer complex. The 15-year PILOT and sales tax exemption would save an estimated $464,540.
The $2.25 million project will enable Irr to expand into two-thirds of the 90,000 square feet being left by a tenant, Erie Engineered Products, which is moving to Lancaster. Also, it would help keep another tenant in 30,000 square feet of space.
After the renovations, Irr, a distributor of plumbing, heating and air conditioning equipment, would have 50,000 square feet of rentable space, Duffy said.
He projects 24 new jobs, more than half of them from new tenants.
The board approved a 15-year PILOT for Wurlitzer Industrial Park’s $1.24 million renovation of 130,000 square feet of space to be rented on the second and third floors of the former organ factory. Estimated property and sales tax savings would be $423,668.