BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Construction on the $71 million rehabilitation of the Ellicott Town Center has officially begun, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

Renovations to the 281-unit housing development in downtown Buffalo will include kitchen and bathroom updates in all apartments as well as new roofs, windows, siding, sidewalks and lighting. The improvements are also expected to lead to 20% energy savings.

The Ellicott Town Center, originally built in 1958, was chosen for renovations to “address the immediate needs of the East Buffalo community in the wake of the racially motivated mass shooting at Tops Supermarket on May 14, 2022,” according to a press release.

“The preservation and improvement of our affordable housing stock is one of the most important ways we can address systemic social and economic inequalities that continue to impact this community,” Hochul said. “The work beginning at Ellicott Town Center will enhance nearly 300 homes and will support our efforts to right the wrongs of the past and build a fairer, more equitable future in Buffalo.” 

State financing of the project includes $36 million in State and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, nearly $32 million in tax exempt housing bonds and just under $23 million in subsidies from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The rehabilitation is being developed by Bean Communities and First Shiloh Development LLC, which is affiliated with the nearby First Shiloh Baptist Church.

Grant Ashley is an intern with News 4. He is currently studying political science and Spanish at the University at Buffalo.