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ESM closes on sale of Heman Street School

Lakewood Development will convert former school building into senior housing

Heman Street School will soon be converted to affordable senior housing, with occupancy scheduled for February 2013.

Heman Street School will soon be converted to affordable senior housing, with occupancy scheduled for February 2013. Marcia Kelley

The East Syracuse-Minoa School District has completed the $460,000 sale of Heman Street School to Lakewood Development LLC, school district officials said. The school will be converted to affordable senior housing, with occupancy scheduled for February 2013.

Lakewood, which already has its building permits in place, began work on the former school building this morning following the school district’s closing on the sale yesterday, March 14.

The project is estimated to cost $6 million and will result in 37 affordable senior housing units— 33 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments in the 47,000-square-foot school.

“This is a big win for the district and the community,” said ESM Superintendent Donna DeSiato. “The community will get some much needed senior housing. Our taxpayers benefit twofold because we no longer need to maintain the building and the district will put the proceeds into its debt service reserve fund, which will be used to offset future debt costs.”

Susan Kimmel, president of Lakewood Development LLC in East Syracuse, agreed.

“After two years, this is a great day for the village of East Syracuse, for the ESM School District and for us,” she said.

A key element for the project’s success was to secure funding. Lakewood was notified in September that its project application was approved by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

“Residents will immediately see a flurry of activity around the building,” Kimmel explained.

The building will be renamed Heman Street School Apartments and the project will preserve as much of the original architecture as possible.

“This is a great reuse of a building that is already a centerpiece of the community,” Kimmel said.

The school is located at 121 E. Heman St. In recent years the village of East Syracuse and the school district, along with other area organizations, used the building for office space. Lakewood assumed the building maintenance and expenses Jan. 1.

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