“Monarch Knitting Developer Regan Seeks Demolition for Doat St. Buildings”

The downstate developer who wants to convert the former Monarch Knitting Co. factory into a low-income apartment complex and neighborhood health clinic is asking the Preservation Board for approval to knock down three smaller one-story structures on the site that have deteriorated and are not needed.

Larry Regan – whose Regan Development Corp. of Ardsley is leading the $24.5 million Crossroads at Genesee project – is seeking permission to demolish a storage building, an electrical switch room and a former dye vault. The three structures are attached to the main complex at 19 Doat St., but comprise a small portion of the overall facility.

Plans by HHL Architects call for rehabilitating 119,258 square feet of the former daylight factory-style warehouse facility to create 78 affordable apartments and a 6,000-square-foot freestanding outpatient clinic to be run by Jericho Road Community Health Center. Those sections to be retained and renovated include the 1912-1916 Factory Building, the 1918 Dye House and the 1919 Boiler House.

According to the National Park Service document certifying the application for preservation work, Regan must retain the factory’s smoke stack and interior flooring materials and place a new elevator shaft inside the building. There are also restrictions on the type of glass or roof that he can install on the Boiler House and Dye House.

However, a 4,865-square foot storage building is already in bad shape. The front portion was demolished several decades ago, leaving an interior clay-tile wall on the south side exposed to the elements. Connectors between the storage building, the Dye House and the Boiler House are also in poor condition, and would be taken out.

Additionally, the 475-square-foot switch house on the east side of the facility is contaminated and in poor condition. A 565-square-foot building that stored the dye, along with a shed-roofed structure on the north side of the Dye House, will be removed, with any brick that can be salvaged to be used for repairs elsewhere

The goal of the project, dubbed Monarch Knitting Apartments, is to provide housing, health and other social services at a single location, aimed at the financially strapped, special needs and immigrant populations served by the nonprofit agencies. In turn, that will help to revitalize a community that hasn’t benefited as much from the redevelopment activity in other parts of the city.

Regan is working with Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of Western New York to provide services for residents.

If approved, the project will be funded by state low-income housing tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, brownfield tax credits, and other state funds, as well as a mortgage and Regan’s equity. Completion is targeted for June 2021.

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