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Brister Mills Lofts Readies for Tenants

Three years ago, Positively Auburn featured a story on C.W. Brister Mills, then in its infancy renovation phase. Now the first phase of property improvements on this historic 17,000 sq. ft. building are close to being completed, and the Kyle family is actively seeking seven loft tenants for this unique residential complex. The second phase of the project will add 4 – 5 more spaces, making a total of 11-12 lofts.

Snapshot History

C.W. Brister & Sons was founded in 1900 as a flour mill and remained active through 1982 when it was purchased by Birkett Mills in Penn Yann. The mill is located at 201 North Street along the railroad tracks on the north end of Auburn, near the intersection of Standart Avenue. Abandoned and left to decay, KyleCroft Development bought the building in 2007 with the vision of converting it back to its former glory, yet as a loft apartment complex.

Style & Amenities

The property consists of seven custom-built apartments ranging in size from 900 – 1600 sq. ft. KyleCroft restored the building while maintaining the industrial character of the structure and adding a modern architectural design. Details such as exposed electrical conduit and caged lighting were original to the site, and were maintained as an industrial-style design element. Silver metal flashing was used to frame the expansive windows. The open floor plan ensures no space is lost to hallways and connecting corridors.

There are three two-bedroom apartments, and four authentic New York City style lofts. Each apartment is equipped with stainless steel appliances, butcher-block counter/bar and A/C. Each space has their own personal 9 ‘x 12’ deck off the back for entertaining, and walk-in closets for spacious storage. Exposed brick walls, high ceilings, poured concrete radiant heated floors, thick wood beams and outdoor decks make the perfect backdrop for chic city living. The developer has maintained the maximum amount of green space surrounding the property, to allow for a park-like setting for the residents. The property’s back view showcases Auburn’s industrial past, with the renowned International Harvester complex and Finger Lakes Railway as the backdrop.

Keepin’ it Green

A major portion of the complex’s redevelopment supplies were utilized from reclaimed materials from deconstructed factories in Brooklyn, vintage doors from Cornell University, and local lumber from Mennonite and Amish saw mills. KyleCroft Development is a family business dedicated to the revitalization of local brownfield properties and derelict buildings. The family and a few close friends did nearly all of the renovation work on this project, with no financial assistance from grants.

Green elements include:

  • Heated floors using high-efficiency boilers
  • On demand hot water
  • Locally sourced and harvested woods from Mennonite and Amish saw mills
  • High-efficiency mini split air conditioning units
  • Spray foam insulation

Serving Young Professionals

The target demographic for Brister Mills tenants is young professionals. Grant Kyle, Project Manager, is in his mid-20s, and sees a gap in adequate housing options for this age bracket. The Kyles hosted an exclusive open house event for IGNITE, Cayuga County’s young professionals group in mid-April that was attended by 75+ people. To view the project renderings and floor plans visit http://www.bristermills.com/.

If anyone is interested in learning more, please contact Grant Kyle at KyleCroft Development. He can be reached by phone at 315.604-1608 or by e-mail grantkyle.kylecroft@gmail.com.

Posted: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 @ 7:59 pm by Curt
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Logan Park Lofts Open House

Hundreds of people received their first look at an important residential development in Downtown Auburn. Developers of the Logan Park Lofts allowed interested parties to view a show space in mid December evening during an open house.

The multi-year, $6-million project is converting the former Wegman Piano Factory on Logan Street into 35 higher-end loft apartments and townhouses. The project has been in the works since Matteo Bartolotta of Bartolotta Furniture Co. purchased the property in 2005.

Joe Bartolotta, one of Matteo’s sons working on the complex, said they plan to start renting as early as spring 2010. While the unit viewed by visitors was furnished and complete, the other apartments included little more than floors, walls and windows. But crews and planners have completed most of the hard work, Bartolotta said. The fixtures are the finishing touches. “I would say we’re probably about 80 percent completed,” he said. “Most of the heavy lifting is behind us.”

The show apartment boasted granite counter tops, custom cupboards, hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. The residential units will also have security gates and staff, high-energy air and heating, washer and dryer and an intercom system.

Attendees of the open house passed a vintage piano on the way to the show unit. The piano was built at the Wegman factory and rebuilt at Bartolotta Furniture Co., Joe Bartolotta said. There is a lot of interest from locals and out-of-town residents, he continued.

Though there are no written leases, Bartolotta said they have verbal commitments from several people. Developers are still studying prices, but he estimated monthly rents could range from $900 to $1,500 depending on the square footage and number of bedrooms.

“I think it was a great success,” Bartolotta said of the open house. “There seems to be a lot of interest and a great deal of excitement.” The show drew high-profile names, with local and state officials taking a look at the early results of a community investment.

The Logan Park Lofts have received substantial assistance from the public since its inception. The state-funded Restore NY program granted $1.8 million to the project in 2005. The developers will also receive some tax breaks and incentives from the Auburn Industrial Development Authority. Initially, developers were planning on selling the units as condominiums, but regulations concerning historic structures state the units can’t be sold, at least initially.

Jennifer Haines, director of the City’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, said the Logan Street development is one of multiple residential projects using established structures in the city. On North Street, the Kyle family is turning the C.W. Brister and Sons flour mill into apartments and eventually a restaurant and train station. Multiple downtown projects on South Street also include upstairs lofts.

Haines pointed out that a city like Auburn doesn’t have a lot of room to grow outwards with new construction. That makes projects like Logan Park, which find new, creative uses for existing structures, important for the city’s revitalization.

“We really appreciate these private partners taking on these types of projects,” said Haines, who added that the city stands “ready to assist” where it can with similar proposals.

Auburn Mayor Michael Quill also attended the open house, and he called the amount of work done so far “incredible.” Quill said he believes there will be a lot of demand for high-end condos, townhouses and apartments in Auburn. While many of these developments seek to draw young professionals, Quill said he believes the baby boomer generation will also have interest.

As their kids move away, and they only want to stay in the area for the summer and fall, Quill said his generation will look for nice places that don’t require the maintenance and work of a full home. But these projects take investment, and Quill said a lot of credit goes to the Bartolottas for investing the time, money and effort into Auburn.

“To take that much interest in downtown Auburn took a lot of foresight, and a lot of hard work to get where they are,” Quill said.

-Provided by The Citizen

Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 @ 3:39 pm by Curt
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