Young Development plans $45M mixed-use project in Cheektowaga

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A West Seneca developer is planning to turn a sprawling 33-acre plot in Cheektowaga along Transit Road into a $45 million development with more than 250 apartments, 52 town homes and a grocery.

In one of its biggest ventures yet, Young Development is proposing to construct more than 20 structures on the site at 6386 Transit, including multiple apartment buildings, two drive-thru restaurants, a store, a community clubhouse and the for-sale town houses.

“This project is going to be our crown jewel,” said Joseph Young, regional property manager for the 36-year-old firm, and son of founder Bryan Young. “It’s bringing together different unit types and complex types that we’ve built all across Western New York that have worked well for us.”

The developer is planning the large mixed-use project for a plot across from a Tops Market plaza, south of Genesee Street and Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, on mostly agricultural land that also recently housed contractor Lorenz & Sons. It was held by the Lorenz family for generations until Young bought it.

“That piece of property in Cheektowaga is exceptional,” Young said. “It’s close to everything. And we think that putting multifamily apartments there is really going to be setting it up for success.”

About five or six of the acres in front, along Transit, will be set aside for the commercial development, while the rest will be for residential. The community will also feature walking trails and a dog park in a bid to target a broad segment of potential users.

“It’s a very exciting project,” Young said. “It’s a mix of everything. It’s going to be a great addition to Cheektowaga.”

Plans for Hillview Heights call for three commercial buildings – a 20,000-square-foot store where Young said they hope to “stick a grocery,” plus two smaller restaurant buildings of 2,500 to 3,000 square feet each.

The developer has not lined up retail occupants yet. “But the drive-by traffic is substantial so we shouldn’t have any trouble locating a tenant,” Young said.

The multifamily apartments will be located in about 15 one- to three-story buildings, ranging in size from four units to 26 apartments in each. Tenants can choose among one-, two- and three-bedroom units, varying in size from 900 to 1,400 square feet in each.

The market-rate rents will average about $1,300 for a standard two-bedroom apartment, with the other units falling on either side of the spectrum.

A separate clubhouse will be constructed in the middle of the community, with a pool, coffee bar, fitness center, yoga studio and an Uber waiting area.

“That’s kind of going to be the hub of the property,” Young said. “We’re not only the developers. We’re also the property managers. We build all the product and we manage it in house.”

At the rear of the property, stretching toward Cloverleaf Drive, will be 52 town houses that will be available for purchase. Details are still being finalized, although Young said he expects they will be one-story units.

“That’s probably the loosest of the concept plan right now,” he said. “We don’t know what we’re going to do there. It’s still quite preliminary.”

The new project marks the latest venture for the family-owned Young Development, which has more than 900 apartments units, mostly in the southern and eastern suburbs of Buffalo.

It also comes after Young completed its biggest project to-date, a 235-unit luxury apartment complex on Broadway in Lancaster, dubbed Edgewater Apartment Homes.

Previously, Young converted the former Houghton College campus in West Seneca into the Park Lane Villas, with 131 units, and then added on 28 luxury patio homes at 965 Center Road, called Park Lane Villas North. It also built the luxury Fox Trace East Apartments, with 24 units, at 1220 Southwestern Blvd., also in West Seneca.

The firm last year completed its 40-unit Woodside Villas at 4720 Transit in Depew, near French Road, which Young said was fully leased before it was even completed.

That’s why he said he’s not worried about filling the newest project. “The demand is certainly there, especially for a project like this,” he said. “It’s a concept that really hasn’t been seen in Western New York too much. With the clubhouse and trails, it’s probably going to be on a different level.”

The project still requires municipal approval in Cheektowaga, but Young said the developer hopes to finish the first buildings in the fall of 2021, starting with the clubhouse so that officials have a base from which to start marketing and leasing the units.

Published by The Buffalo News

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