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Press Release

Five Star Bank Provides Financing and Equity Investment for Affordable Housing Development in Rochester, NY

‒ Conifer Realty, LLC is Developer of VOC Liberty Landing

Company Release - 4/11/2019 8:00 AM ET

WARSAW, N.Y., April 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Five Star Bank (the “Bank”), subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: FISI), announced that it has provided $8.1 million of construction loan financing and $5.8 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity for the development of VOC Liberty Landing, a 33-unit affordable apartment project in Rochester, NY.

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VOC Liberty Landing is being developed by Conifer Realty, LLC and is a joint venture with the Rochester Veteran’s Outreach Center (VOC). The development will be built on a vacant parcel in the City of Rochester's Center City District, designated as a Neighborhood Improvement Area, a City of Rochester Empire Zone, and a HUD Renewal Community. The general contractor for the project is Conifer ‒ LeChase Construction. Groundbreaking for the project was held on Friday, April 5th.

Upon completion, 23 of the 33 units will be designated as primarily for Veterans with a secondary preference for families on the public housing waitlist. 10 of the units will be designated as Supportive Housing. The site is located near schools, public transportation, retail and medical care. VOC will be the service provider for the project.

John Berry, Commercial Market Executive for Five Star Bank, said, “VOC Liberty Landing is located just a few blocks from Five Star Bank Plaza, home to our regional headquarters and downtown banking office. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support this much-needed project in our own backyard. We are committed to the revitalization of downtown Rochester and to improving the lives of the residents of our communities. We look forward to working with Conifer Realty and VOC by providing the necessary funds for the project’s successful completion.”

Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director Laura Stradley said, “I am excited to be breaking ground on this wonderful project with the support of New York State, Conifer, LLC and Five Star Bank. VOC Liberty Landing will be a wonderful asset to the Veteran community and fills a crucial void by offering an attractive and affordable housing solution for Veterans and their families. The onsite Supportive Services will be a unique opportunity for those who need to utilize the wide range of services that we offer at VOC. We are fortunate to have had such wonderful visionaries to bring this project to fruition, and one that ties in directly with our mission to serve veterans with compassion and advocate for all who have worn our nation’s uniform, so they can ‘rise’ and live life to the fullest.”

About Five Star Bank and Financial Institutions, Inc.
Five Star Bank provides a wide range of consumer and commercial banking and lending services to individuals, municipalities, and businesses through a network of more than 50 offices throughout Western and Central New York State. Additional Five Star Bank information is available at www.five-starbank.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Five Star Bank, SDN Insurance Agency, LLC (“SDN”), Courier Capital, LLC (“Courier Capital”) and HNP Capital, LLC (“HNP Capital”) are subsidiaries of Financial Institutions, Inc. SDN provides a broad range of insurance services to personal and business clients. Courier Capital and HNP Capital provide customized investment management, investment consulting and retirement plan services to individuals, businesses, institutions, foundations and retirement plans. Financial Institutions, Inc. and its subsidiaries employ approximately 700 individuals. Financial Institutions, Inc. stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol FISI. Additional information is available at www.fiiwarsaw.com.

Conifer Realty, LLC
Conifer Realty, LLC is a nationally ranked, full-service real estate company specializing in the development, construction, management and ownership of high-quality, affordable housing communities. Since its inception in 1975, Conifer has grown considerably – currently owning and managing nearly 15,000 multifamily units representing over 220 apartment communities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. In addition, the Company consistently maintains a pipeline of over 30 unique projects in various stages of the development process.

About Veterans Outreach Center
The Rochester Veterans Outreach Center, Inc. (VOC) is a not-for-profit center founded in 1973 by returning Vietnam Veterans to provide a comprehensive portfolio of supportive services to meet the needs of current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The VOC offers supportive, direct services, community collaboration and advocacy for veterans in need.

Contacts
Five Star Bank:  Shelly J. Doran (585) 627-1362 or [email protected]
Conifer Realty, LLC:  Brian Ivy (585) 324-0539 or [email protected]
Veterans Outreach Center, Inc.:  (585) 546-1081 or [email protected]

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Source: Financial Institutions, Inc.