This week construction begins on the first phase of a $12 million plan to revitalize the Village of Lancaster's business district.

The first of three phases aims to bring a mix of retail and residential to the village's downtown.

Developer Tommy R. Sweeney kicked off construction on the West Main Street project this week.

The plans include three buildings to be constructed on the site of the Save-A-Lot parking lot, next to the former Erie 1 BOCES building.

The Buffalo News reports there will be a total of "49 upscale apartments of various sizes are envisioned over the next three years, along with ground-floor retail in each building."

According to The Buffalo News:

“We have worked earnestly through the trials of the Covid-19 pandemic to create a visionary shopping and living center for village residents and area visitors that will ensure a very strong Lancaster business core for the future,” said Sweeney, project owner and founder of Glassco, a property management and investment firm.

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The project represents an effort to build the village's business district since the late 1970s.

The Village of Lancaster Community Development Corp. was first tasked in 1998 with redeveloping what was commonly referred to as the "BOCES property."

The 27,000-square-foot building at 11 West Main will be known as the new Lancaster Village Center. It will have that space for six shops on the ground floor and 18 apartments within the additional upper two floors.

Construction is expected to be finished by December, and apartments will be available for rent by spring 2022, according to the Buffalo News.

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