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