Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that construction has begun on Canal Commons, a $64 million development that will convert a 19th century manufacturing facility into 123 affordable and supportive apartments. Located in Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, the building will include 70 homes with supportive services.
“The Canal Commons development will breathe new life into this historic commercial building and create a vibrant community anchor in southwest Rochester,” Governor Hochul said. “Thanks to a significant state investment, we are unlocking 123 units of affordable and supportive housing for New Yorkers in need and providing them with the tools and services that will help them thrive. This project is a key component of my administration’s $25 billion housing plan, and we remain laser-focused on helping New Yorkers through the affordability crisis by offering safe, comfortable, and low-cost housing options.”
Canal Commons is part of Governor Hochul’s sweeping plans to make housing more affordable, equitable, and stable. In the recently enacted State Budget, the Governor successfully secured a new $25 billion, five-year, comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
Originally constructed in the 19th century for the James Cunningham & Son Company and renovated in the early 20th century to become the Utz and Dunn Shoe Company Building, the five-story, red brick structure functioned as a shoe factory from the 1910s to the 1950s. The building has remained vacant for over a decade.
Renovations to the 166,000 square-foot building will respect its existing industrial character, with many structural columns left exposed, historic finishes maintained, and the factory’s plank ceilings expressed throughout the structure. Two one-story buildings of no historic significance, which currently function as a garage and loading dock, will be demolished.
The development will house 81 one-bedroom and 41 two-bedroom apartments, along with one studio apartment. All 123 apartments will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of Area Median Income. Seventeen units will be adapted for those who are mobility impaired and five units for those with hearing or vision impairment.
Seventy apartments will be reserved for adults with serious mental illness, substance use disorders, or who are chronically experiencing homelessness. Residents will have access to rental subsidies and services administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health and funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.
Services will include financial case management, education and employment counseling, peer support, life skills coaching, and social activities. The service provider is East House.
Located in the Flower City’s Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, the site is less than a mile from Rochester’s Central Inner Loop, which is being transformed by extensive state and local investment, and is also near the city’s Bull’s Head neighborhood, which has also been targeted for revitalization by the city’s government.
Canal Street Apartments will be green certified under NYSERDA’s Multifamily New Construction Program with the development utilizing Energy Star appliances, clean building materials, and integrated pest management. They will also offer energy-efficient features, including ENERGY STAR appliances and LED lighting, high-performance space conditioning equipment, windows, insulation, and air sealing.
Canal Commons is being co-developed by East House and MM Development Advisors, Inc.
State financing for Canal Commons includes $2.1 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $20 million in equity and $13 million from NYS HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program. The NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation approved Federal and …….