Tonawanda News

Local News

December 18, 2012

People Inc. to apply for funding to turn Highland into 38 multi-use apartments


Tonawanda News — The nonprofit’s plan also did not have enough parking spaces per apartment, according to city zoning regulations. 

People Inc. filed a variance request to relieve them from the four zoning issues on Nov. 26. 

“The essential characteristic of the neighborhood is the same,” Frederick wrote in the document. 

A public hearing on the variance was held Monday in the community room inside City Hall. Residents living near the property were invited by mail to voice their opinions on the matter. 

The Zoning Board of Appeals will now decide to approve or deny the variance request.

“They look at the facts of the case, the testimony and the feedback from the public,” Rank said. 

Meanwhile, though, a for sale sign has been placed on the property, as People Inc. can’t agree to a lease before receiving the funding. In the meantime, S. Spoth, LLC has chosen to put the property back up for sale at a listing price of $325,000.

The school was sold to the owner in an auction last spring for $152,000.

But the school has been empty since the district closed it in 2009, and many residents are concerned about the continuing vacancy. 

Just this past weekend, a group of kids broke the school’s windows, according to Lt. Fredric Foels.

“We didn’t catch them, but the owners came quickly and covered it up with plywood,” Foels said. “It doesn’t look unsightly.”

Mayor Ron Pilozzi, along with residents who live nearby, has also voiced his concerns about the vacancy. 

“I am sure the neighborhood would like to see the property used,” Frederick said. “It is nearby public transportation and has nice amenities for young people starting out. It really is a good community.”

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150

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