Rhonda Ricks, Buffalo’s First Certified Minority and Woman Owned Development Firm Leads Project To Redevelop Former Buffalo Public School 59 Into Affordable Parkview Apartments
Last Thursday, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), R+A+R Development and SA+A Development formally celebrated the opening of Parkview Apartments, an $8 million project that converted the vacant Public School 59 building in the East Side community of Buffalo to 26 units of affordable apartments for low-income New Yorkers. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, joined HCR, R+A+R, S+A, Mayor Byron Brown, Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes, Senator Tim Kennedy, and development and community partners for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
For Rhonda Ricks, Buffalo’s first certified minority and woman owned development firm, this project is a dream that has been years in the making. Ricks stated, “Leading this renovation has been a proud process for my development firm. The partnership with SA+A Development has been a successful learning experience and provided much support."
She added, “As a new developer, I am thankful to all who embraced this vision and provided the guidance and financial assistance to bring the vision full circle. It was certainly a tapestry of leadership that included Mayor Byron Brown, Congressman Brian Higgins, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the dedicated staff of the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) and the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).” The four-story, 36,000 square-foot building at 769 Best Street was constructed in 1901. It now includes a community room, laundry room, laundry facilities, an elevator and playground. Parkview is directly across the street from Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, which was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, and is near shopping and services. Rent plus utilities range from $362 to $751 a month and are affordable to households at or below 50 percent of the area median income.
“The Parkview Apartments are a long time in the making, adaptively reusing the former PS #59 to design brand new upscale yet affordable units created by Buffalo’s first minority female developer. The lengthy waiting list shows that there is a demand for new quality housing options. Congratulations to R+A+R Development and SA&A on successfully completing the first of many projects on Buffalo’s East Side,” stated Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes.
“All of Buffalo’s residents deserve a safe and affordable place to live, and as we build a City of opportunity, to ensure everyone benefits from Buffalo’s rising prosperity, we’re focused on our continued commitment to further strengthen neighborhoods by providing the best housing possible,” said Mayor Byron Brown.
“I’m pleased my administration was able to contribute $1.1 million in City of Buffalo HOME Funds to this project, which joins the growing list of residential projects on Buffalo’s East Side, particularly in the revitalized and historic Martin Luther Jr. neighborhood.”