Developer waits on funding for Buffalo apartments

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Lexington firm says building is on waiting list

By The Staff

The plan to convert the Buffalo Elementary School building into a housing complex for the elderly is on hold since the developer has not secured funding for the project.

In last week’s school board meeting, Superintendent Sam Sanders said he received a letter from AU Associates of Lexington stating the project did not receive funding through the National Stabilization Program.

In a telephone interview, Johan Graham, financial manager for AU, said the rejection “was not unprecedented.”

“It takes a little while to get these things funded,” he said.

The project is “second on the waiting list” for funding from the Kentucky Housing Corporation from the fourth quarter 2008 application. It’s possible the money will become available in May if another project falls through.

Graham said $33 million was awarded that cycle, while there was $110 million in applications.

AU will re-apply to KHC in September for the 2010 funding cycle.

“The purchase option will have expired by then,” said Sanders, “but we can grant an extension if the board so desires.”

Buffalo Elementary, which was built in 1936, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in February – a move that will assist with funding, according to Graham.

AU plans to provide occupancy in 19 apartments by mid-2010.

Some of the restrictions placed on the property by Land of Lincoln Planning and Zoning include no resident under age 18, secure entrances and regular garbage pickup.