CCIDA to Provide Support for Redevelopment of Former Silver Creek High School Property

Submitted by Justin Gould on Thu, 02/29/2024 - 09:24
Former Silver Creek School

The former Silver Creek High School building at 60 Main St. in the village of Silver Creek has sat vacant since the late 1970s. This week, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) Board of Directors approved financial incentives for the Silver Creek Apartments, LLC project to help remove and redevelop the abandoned property. 

SILVER CREEK, NY -- At its February 27, 2024 meeting, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) Board of Directors approved incentives to Silver Creek Apartments, LLC. The incentives, which include a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement along with exemptions for both sales and mortgage tax payments, will assist the company with a multi-million dollar project to remove and redevelop the abandoned, former Silver Creek High School building at 60 Main St. in the village of Silver Creek and Town of Hanover.

The building has sat vacant for more than 40 years and while several attempts to renovate it have been made during that time, those efforts were unsuccessful. In October 2023, representatives from Southern Tier Environments for Living, Inc. (STEL) and Park Grove Development, LLC appeared before the CCIDA board to provide initial details of the new Silver Creek Apartments project. Under those plans, the developers would demolish the long-abandoned, three-story school building (57,070 square feet) and replace it with a three-story, 50,574 square-foot apartment building.

“The abandoned school really does send the wrong impression of what Silver Creek is,” said Allen Handelman, Vice President of Park Grove Development. “So this project goes a long way towards both providing affordable housing for members of the community, but also sending a message for the people that live in Silver Creek and people that visit there that this is a growing community that is poised to reach its full potential.”

The demolition would include long-needed environmental remediation, including the removal and disposal of hazards including asbestos, PCBs, and lead paint. Once constructed, the new apartment building would provide 54 safe and affordable apartments for seniors age 62 and up, with 15 units set aside for supportive housing. Of those units, 51 would be one-bedroom apartments, and three would be two-bedroom apartments. Within the building there would also be a community room, fitness room, laundry facilities and an onsite property management office.  The facility would also include a large parking lot for up to 70 vehicles, along with a patio and shed.


The project would provide 180 construction jobs and, once complete, 4.75 full-time equivalent jobs. The total cost would be $20,155,262, with the project also receiving $1 million in assistance from the village’s Restore NY award. Developers have also applied for additional financial support from HCR in the form of housing credits and are awaiting notification on whether or not they will receive those credits. 

“We are applying for funding from HCR and it’s a very competitive process. When it comes to scoring projects, the benefits that the IDA has the ability to provide will keep our development budget competitive and viable, when compared to other projects coming in from across the state. So a competitive PILOT from CCIDA is critical in terms of scoring and increasing our chances of receiving additional state funding,” said Ashley Switzer, STEL Project Manager.

In December 2023, the CCIDA held a public hearing on the project and its related financial assistance, with Silver Creek Mayor Jeff Hornburg speaking in favor of the project. A letter of support was also provided by Louis Pelletter, Silver Creek Village Historian and newly elected Hanover Supervisor. No opposition to the project was expressed.

“As we all know, the old Silver Creek High School has been abandoned and vacant for many decades. There have been several attempts over the years to renovate and preserve the building – including as recently as 2022, but it never worked out,” said Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of the CCIDA. “Now we’re looking at a project that involves the demolition of the old school building, and developing a brand new facility. I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. If we can make this work it will fulfill a need in the community, while removing an unsightly and dangerous influence in the community.”

“The village is excited to see another effort involving the former school building moving forward,” said Mayor Hornburg. “Due to the limited availability of housing units in our community, many of our local seniors have had to leave the area in order to find adequate housing and services. This project will not only help to remove an eye-sore in the heart of our village but also finally offer additional modern housing for our older population.”

“We are very happy to see STEL and Park Grove Development come back to the table with this new plan. That building has sat vacant for many years, in spite of efforts to do something with it. We never gave up hope on that site and now new development is looking more and more like a reality,” said Paul “PJ” Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive.

"This is an effort I’ve championed for more than a decade. Even as previous efforts fell through, I never gave up on the potential of this project and have remained engaged in the efforts to bring it to fruition,” said State Senator George Borrello, who previously served as Chautauqua County Executive and also as a representative of Silver Creek and Hanover in the Chautauqua County Legislature. “The affordable senior housing that is planned represents the culmination of a long-held vision and is a huge 'win' for our seniors, the Silver Creek community and Chautauqua County. My thanks go out to all the public and private sector partners who played a role in this great outcome."

The CCIDA-approved PILOT agreement is for 30 years and will result in payments to the Village of Silver Creek, Town of Hanover, Silver Creek Central School District, and Chautauqua County totaling $347,486. Silver Creek Apartments will also save up to $497,261 in sales tax and an additional $191,574 in mortgage recording tax.

Construction on the project is expected to begin later in 2024.

About CCIDA – The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, and visit. They facilitate development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention by our businesses.  For more information visit ChooseCHQ.com.


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