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West Middle School Apartments open in vacant Auburn building

By Eric Reinhardt


The state has announced the formal opening of the West Middle School Apartments in Auburn. The $20 million project redeveloped the vacant school building into a structure with 59 apartments, including 15 units with “mental-health support services,” the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. (Photo Credit: The office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

AUBURN — The previously vacant West Middle School at 217 Genesee St. in Auburn has been redeveloped with apartments inside.

New York on April 16 announced the formal opening of West Middle School Apartments, a three-story development with 59 apartments for area residents. 

The $20 million project includes 15 units with “mental-health support services,” the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.

“This a transformative project for the City of Auburn. West Middle School Apartments replaces a vacant and unused building with attractive and affordable homes that will strengthen the neighborhood as a whole,” Auburn Mayor Michael Quill said in Cuomo’s release.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) has provided $7.6 million in financing for the project in the form of tax-exempt bond financing and a subsidy loan. HCR’s annual federal tax-credit allocation generated $6.5 million in tax-credit equity. Additional capital funding includes $4.4 million from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), as well as federal and state historic tax-credit equity. 

OMH is also providing long term, debt-service payments, startup funds, and ongoing services and operating funding.

West Middle School Apartments features a community room, laundry area, and on-site parking. Crews preserved many of the school’s original features, including original artwork and lockers that line the halls. In addition, the school auditorium remains intact and is available for public events. 

The “supportive-housing” residents will receive on-site services from Unity House of Cayuga County, a nonprofit organization founded in 1977 and designed to “enrich the lives of people with disabilities.” Unity House’s headquarters have transitioned into new office space in the building as well.

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