Tonawanda News

The City

October 5, 2012

People Inc. plan stalls

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The school’s sale price is presently listed at $325,000 — quite a hike from the school district’s sale price of $152,000 to the company last year. 

Before People Inc.’s plan emerged, many residents hoped the 28,000-square-foot building could potentially bring in more tax revenue for the city. But if People Inc., does use the structure, the property will remain tax exempt due to the organization’s nonprofit status. 

Apart from funding hurdles, the nonprofit will also need to change the current general residence zoning ordinance for the property to allow for parking and setbacks. 

City of Tonawanda Building Inspector Kevin A. Rank said People Inc., hasn’t started that process yet. 

The nonprofit’s Chief Operating Officer Rhonda Fredrick said last year the senior housing apartments would have housed residents over the age of 62 who earn less than $21,500. 

At the time, residents were concerned about low-income housing coming into the area, but Fredrick said most tenants would come from a 5 mile radius around the school and the development would have provided an affordable place for seniors who can’t afford high-end retirement homes. 

But the funding denial will likely increase the time the building is vacant — which it has been since the district closed the school in 2009.  

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.

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