By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Rochester, N.Y.—The Carriage Factory Apartments, created by the redevelopment of the former Cunningham Carriage Factory by the nonprofit DePaul, has been completed. As a residential property, it now offers 71 studio and one- and two-bedroom loft apartments for income-eligible residents.
Originally home to the Cunningham Carriage Factory and Companies, the 73,000-square-foot building is one of Rochester’s oldest standing manufacturing sites, built in 1910 to make customized horse-drawn carriages. Soon the company was producing handmade automobiles—upmarket products for its time that eschewed assembly-line manufacturing. The company went out of business during the Depression, and the building was used for other purposes for some decades, including war-related manufacturing in the early 1940s.
The four-story building notes its history with an original brougham-style Cunningham carriage purchased from John and Sue Greenall of the Greenall Carriage House of Windsor, Vt., on display in the lobby. Also part of the display is a gallery of drawings, photographs and artifacts related to Cunningham and its products.
Before redevelopment began last year, the structure, which is located at the border of the Susan B. Anthony Preservation District, had sat vacant for almost 25 years. The redeveloped structure features Energy Star heating and cooling equipment, appliances and light fixtures, Green Label certified floors, and its construction employed a waste management plan designed to reduce landfill materials by 25 percent.
DePaul is a nonprofit organization that does affordable housing as well as mental health programs, addiction prevention, and vocational education. Christa Construction was the contractor and SWBR Architects designed the property. Other participants in the project included Monroe County, the New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Housing Trust Fund Corp., the New York State Office of Mental Health, Red Stone Equity Partners LLC, Goldman Sachs and the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association.
As usual with an affordable development, financing was complex. Community Preservation Corp. provided a $10.35 million construction loan and $2 million permanent loan, with the support of the NYS Pension Funds, for the project. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council provided a $3.3 million award, and the City of Rochester made a $600,000 loan for the development.