Renovation of old Holley High School delayed, but developer still determined

File photo by Tom Rivers: Nelson Leenhouts, chairman and CEO of Home Leasing, addresses a crowd on Nov. 11 outside the former Holley High School. Leenhouts wants to redevelop the site into senior apartments and the village offices. Home Leasing wasn’t approved for financing through a state program, but the company said it will try again.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 May 2017 at 11:03 am

HOLLEY – A plan to transform the former Holley High School into senior apartments and village offices has been delayed after a state agency didn’t approve financing to assist with the project.

“Home Leasing remains committed to the transformation of the former high school into quality affordable senior housing and updated Village of Holley offices,” said Nelson Leenhouts, chairman and CEO of Home Leasing. “We will update our application and resubmit for the next funding round this fall.”

Home Leasing is proposing a $17 million project at the former school, which has been vacant for about a decade. The company wants to create 41 mixed-income apartments for seniors, new village office space, and restore the auditorium for public events.

Holley village officials are disappointed the project wasn’t included in this year’s competitive State Homes and Community Renewal financing round, Mayor Brian Sorochty said.

The funding is critical for the project to move forward. The mayor said that only one in three applications are typically selected annually, so this result is not uncommon.

“While the delay is disappointing to us, we remain confident that this worthwhile plan will happen soon due to the strength of the development team, the overwhelming support of our residents, our elected officials and the Landmark Society,” Sorochty said.  “A re-purposed Holley High anchors our vision for an active and vibrant Village Square.”

The Landmark Society of Western New York has named the school one of its “Five to Revive.” That designation helped raise awareness in the Rochester region for the building.

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