The transformation the building at 85 Allen Street by Buckingham Properties was one of the first successful mixed-use redevelopments in The City of Rochester. The seven-story, 80,000 square foot building was built more than a century ago, and was originally home to the Pullman Company, a manufacturer of window sashes. Years later, the building became known as the ArtCraft Optical Building, where eyeglass frames were manufactured for decades. ArtCraft abandoned the building in 2000, and it sat vacant for years before Buckingham selected the property for redevelopment. Buckingham employees—and the community—recall the deplorable condition of the building, which had become a haven for pigeons in its abandoned state.
Setting the Stage for Loft-Style Redevelopment in Rochester
Now known as Buckingham Commons, this highly-visible mixed-use building is one of Buckingham’s flagship properties. In 2006, the repurposed building opened its doors combining 36 loft-style apartments with ground floor commercial tenants. The building boasts exposed wood beams and interior brick, a spectacular views of Downtown Rochester, and a roof deck overlooking Frontier Field, the local baseball stadium.
A cooperative effort between the City of Rochester, Monroe County, the State of New York and Buckingham Properties made the Buckingham Commons redevelopment successful. The City has worked with Buckingham to ensure the project conformed to building codes, construction, and life safety standards. To provide sufficient parking for all future tenants, several small pieces of adjacent land were acquired with the aid of the City Department of Economic Development. The County’s assistance regarding access issues was extremely valuable, and the State was cooperative in resolving the use of a small parcel of land that was needed to properly complete the project.
Buckingham Commons has remained one of Buckingham’s highest performing properties since completion, with high demand for both residential and commercial space. The project is a great example of an abandoned, yet structurally sound building in the heart of the city that provided an opportunity to create something exciting and new while showcasing the building’s history and enhancing the neighborhood.Back
Buckingham Properties transformed a seven-story abandoned manufacturing building in the City of Rochester into a mixed-use property with 36 residential lofts and office space on the lower floors. As a highly-visible building just off of the Interstate, Buckingham Commons became one of Buckingham’s flagship properties representing the company’s specialization in mixed-use redevelopment.