A piece of Main Street’s 500 block is moving closer to reuse. Restaurateur Don Warfe has the circa-1880 Stewart & Benson Building at 501 Main Street under contract. Warfe expects to renovate the three-story, 6,000 sq.ft. vacant property into a mix of residential and commercial space.
According to Business First, Warfe plans to convert the upper floors into two residential units and utilize the ground floor as enclosed parking (alley access off E. Mohawk Street) and 1,000 sq.ft. of for-lease commercial space. Warfe, who plans to occupy one of the residential units, runs the Brodo locations on Elmwood Avenue and Main Street in Snyder and is also the restaurant and events manager for the The Clubhouse at the Buffalo Yacht Club.
501 Main Street was one of several properties that would have been renovated under Signature Development’s Century City Lofts project. That redevelopment project unraveled due to a depressed market for historic preservation tax credits. The building was put back on the market in January with a $185,000 asking price. It is unknown what Warfe has agreed to pay for the property which is expected to be finalized in September. Current owner Naseem M. Malik purchased the property in ten years ago for $150,679.
Malik sold 496 Main at the northwest corner of W. Mohawk Street in July 2007. The four-story, 11,440 sq.ft. building was purchased by Kent Keating and has City approvals to renovate it for commercial space topped by one unit of housing. That project has not started.
Two other Malik-owned downtown properties at 472 Main/283 Pearl remain for sale. These contiguous, through-block buildings are four floors totaling 40,000 sq.ft. of space. The site is located between the Courtyard Mall and former Hens & Kelly’s Department Store. Malik’s properties are being sold through Chris Malachowski of Hunt Commercial Real Estate.
Get connected: Chris Malachowski, Hunt Commercial: 716-880-1914