Apartments slated for Jersey Street firehouse

The developers who bought the Jersey Street Firehouse on Buffalo’s West Side just over a year ago are seeking city approvals to create seven apartments in the historic three-story building that has been vacant for years.

Milestone Development of WNY – comprised of Justin Custer and Eric Zellner – intends to renovate the circa-1875 firehouse into seven apartments – three of which would extend from the first to second floors.

Milestone, which already owns 100 residential and commercial units, bought the 12,300-square-foot brick building at 310 Jersey in June 2022 for $400,000, after previous owner Project X Holdings abandoned its 5-year-old plan to put a microbrewery and restaurant into the building.

That $1.6 million microbrewery proposal had faced stiff neighborhood opposition, and was ultimately rejected by both the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.

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The 2.3-acre site is located at the corner of Jersey and Plymouth Avenue, with existing two-story homes on one side and behind it. The former Engine No. 2 firehouse features a mansard roof in front where the building has three floors, and a long two-story rear section.

Plans for the $1.86 million project show a 1,059-square-foot two-bedroom unit on the first floor that is handicapped-accessible, a 1,744-square-foot two-bedroom apartment on the second floor, a two-bedroom 1,107-square-foot unit on the third floor, and a 607-square-foot one-bedroom apartment on the third floor.

There are also the three two-story units – one two-bedroom unit with 1,218 square feet, one two-bedroom 1,410-square-foot unit, and a three-bedroom and 3.5-bathroom apartment with 1,683 square feet.

Milestone this week obtained variances from the ZBA to allow seven residential units in the commercial building for financial viability of the project, along with an accessory parking lot in the corner side yard to provide three additional spaces. The project would also include a new curb cut from Plymouth, minor entrance modifications and two additional parking spaces in the existing garage. It still requires minor administrative site plan approval before it can proceed.

“There will be no undesirable change produced in the character of the neighborhood,” the application said. “Since the building has been vacant for decades, revitalizing it with simple apartment units will contribute to the positive growth of the neighborhood.”

Reach Jonathan D. Epstein at (716) 849-4478 or

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