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Construction Watch: Kamman Building Restoration

Chaintreuil, Jensen, Stark Architects, a Buffalo-based architecture firm, is renovating an historic Larkin District building for its future headquarters.  The company is spending $1 million to rehab the Kamman Building at 755 Seneca Street, one block from the Larkin at Exchange office complex.  The four-story brick and Medina sandstone building has approximately 13,000 sq.ft. of space.  It was designed by architect F.W. Caulkins and was completed in 1878.

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Chaintreuil, Jensen, Stark is buying into the neighborhood’s potential. The firm is currently in leased space on South Park Avenue. 

CityView Development and Larkin Development Group have been busy buying properties in the Seneca and Exchange street area after rehabbing the Larkin at Exchange Building and constructing an adjacent parking ramp.  Additional new construction and renovation projects creating office, retail and residential space are planned for the area.

“We were looking to buy a building and wanted to find a location that would be good for the firm and good for the city,” said Robert Stark AIA, one of the company’s Principals, in a previous interview.

In December, First Niagara Financial Group announced a significant investment in its new headquarters neighborhood.  Over $2 million will be spent on streetscape improvements, redevelopment of a long vacant building into commercial space and rental apartments, and a financial assistance program that will underwrite residents’ and small-business owners’ remodeling and renovation projects in the neighborhood.

DSC_0563.JPGDSC_0567.JPGThe 700 block of Seneca Street will see streetscape improvements later this year.  The Larkin District Streetscape Improvement project will include new streets, sidewalks, bike lanes, curbs, landscaping, lighting, benches, bus shelters and crosswalks over a half-mile stretch of Seneca Street between Fillmore Avenue and Larkin Street.

755 Seneca was originally a rooming house with ground floor retail, apartments on the second and third floors and fourth floor attic space.  In the recent past, there was a pharmacy on the ground floor and a medical office on the second.  The building has been vacant for over ten years according to Stark.

Chaintreuil, Jensen, Stark’s employees will occupy the top floor and possibly half of the third.  The balance of the space is available for lease.  Floors are approximately 3,000 sq.ft. each.

Get connected: Chaintreuil, Jensen, Stark, 716.856.6448

Written by WCPerspective

WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • JohnQBuffalo

    Wonderful news that the building will be saved and restored but I am troubled by the empty lots on both sides of the building. Both sides of the building are really begging for 4 story buildings to continue the streetscape (though adjacent buildings will block the light from those windows.
    Would be nice if BuffaloRising posted the master plan for the future of the Larkin District.
    One last thought, knowing that the Larkin District does connect two major north-south corridors: Jefferson to the Life Sciences and Fillmore to Humboldt Park and Central Terminal. Are there any visionaries thinking of what advancements in the Larkin District have for these corridors?!! Will the Larkin benefit the Life Sciences? Will the Larkin benefit Humboldt Park and the Central Terminal?

  • KarlMalone

    The only thing wrong with the whole Larkin Complex is the free parking for the tenants and visitors. People hate that stuff in Buffalo; we are a walking community.
    Howard should demo the parking areas and put up a giant statue of Steel with Chicago city landscape in the background instead.

  • Scottwf

    the first 5000 times you’ve posted this was semi funny. do you have anything new??

  • sin|ill

    ignore him. when you walk into a room and see someone talking to themselves, do you engage them?

  • bflolover

    My great, great grandfather ran Keller’s Pharmacy in this building starting in 1931. It was housed there until 1992 (the name was kept even though my family stopped running it years ago).
    “Keller’s Pharmacy” is actually painted on the side of the building (covered right now by the “for lease” sign).
    It makes me very happy to know that a building which was a huge part of my family history will be saved (maybe they’ll even keep the faded “Keller’s Pharmacy” sign on it)!
    The original location of the pharmacy (1872-1931) was 739 Seneca. It has since been demolished.
    Chris Hawley’s blog has more information:
    http://www.hydraulicspress.com/the_hydraulics/2009/04/kellers-was-neighborhood-fixture-for-nearly-120-years.html#more

  • grad94

    more great news for seneca street! i hope they repair or replace the cool back porches. they are an especially appealing part of the building.

  • ajKeller

    Hi bflolover,
    Your ggrandfather may have been Mr. Cohen who bought the store in 1928 from my ggrandfather. At that time Keller’s Pharmacy had moved to 755 Seneca and lived above it from 1910 until about 1920.
    I hope the sign on the side stays.

  • suburban_hillbilly

    {deleted- off-topic}

  • Sally

    You apparently do!

  • Sally

    Wonderful project, simply wonderfu

  • hamp

    Looking good. A lot of preservation going on in Buffalo.
    That’s great!

  • KarlMalone

    {deleted- flaming}

  • The Kettle

    No way. The biggest problem with this neighborhood are all of those restored historic buildings. Think of how many more parking spaces could be added if all the remaining larkin buildings were removed. That would eliminate a lot of progress and opportunity but pissing off those those foolish preservationists would be worth it.
    Everybody knows that historic preservation is a waste of money and only angers the all mighty “supply” and “demand”. The only way to save this blighted and sinful area is to sacrafice these structures as offerings to the “free market gods”. Then the “invisable hand” will come in and construct ranch homes, a superhighway, a bird friendly international crossing with plaza and all of the trimmings, a union-free suv factory and other things the reality crowd dream about.

  • PeytonsCorner

    BTW another Peyton Barlow Project!
    Allentown Lofts
    The Granite Works
    Elk Terminal
    The Mansion on Delaware Ave.
    Robert Stark and partners at CJS Architects…Thank You for taking on this project! One more at risk Historic Property brought back to life!

  • PeytonsCorner

    The back porches will be renovated as required by the State Historic Preservation Office.

  • bflolover

    Nope. My mom, Judy, is a Keller and therefore, you are my cousin! 🙂

  • Scottwf

    lol. this rocks.

  • STEEL

    It is also a known fact that old buildings cause crime. If we get rid of all of them we can put in some Walmarts which everyone knows reduce crime and make schools better.

  • STEEL

    hope they save that original storefront

  • sonyactivision

    I can’t wait to see how nice the parking lot will be!

  • KarlMalone

    I hope they knock it down and force you to watch it live

  • Black Rock Lifer

    It is encouraging to see buildings like this finally being appreciated. Twenty or thirty years ago there was little interest in the old commercial buildings that were disappearing all over the city. This project should help show the potential of restoration and inspire more like efforts.

  • KarlMalone

    {deleted-off topic, but it did make me laugh out loud}

  • STEEL

    I wonder what goes through the minds of people who can find negativity in this. Its almost as if its is a threat to them that someone could find value in this building and in the city. Very odd.

  • majove

    It’s jealousy. The critics have no imagination or creativity. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for over 20 years. It’s very exciting to see others finally have the vision my husband and I have seen for old buildings. I LOVE it!

  • grad94

    people who operate out of spite rarely keep friends, earn respect, or achieve much. such is the lonely bed they make for themselves.

  • Black Rock Lifer

    I never understood the contempt for preservation, here in Buffalo preservationists have contributed much to improving and stabilizing our city. Many invest their heart and soul into projects that sometimes require more capital investment than will likely ever be recovered. Preservationists see more than just dollar signs and truly care about our city and the built environment. We should respect that altruism instead of mocking it.

  • KarlMalone

    Enough of all the rubbish being spewed. Rehabbing an old building of course is good news. Preservationist and others enjoy hearing news, especially the group doing the development. But please spare me the dichotomy. You are basically against any development, unless it is on your terms (i.e. only preservation), then when it is, you ride the higher moral ground. By employing the twisted logic of wanted to see the demo I am fitting right into your hypocritical everday mode. I am now one of you.

  • grad94

    translation: i don’t like you so that entitles me to act like an a–hole.

  • KarlMalone

    If if i liked you i’d be an a-hole. Why do you think the last administration got anything done. You can argue the good ans bad of it all, but the only way to do things in this country is under the radar, exclude, and shove it down peoples throats with an army of attorneys. Otherwise you get health care nonreform.

  • grad94

    sounds like we have your blessing to shove preservation down your throat, exclude you from participation, and sic lawyers on you if you object.

  • STEEL

    Who is against “any” developent? Who is the “you” that you are referng to? It seems to me that the “preservationsists” and preservation minded developers are responsible for the vast majority of development in Buffalo. Show me a project that preservationsists have stopped or made worse in the precess. And please don’t list parking lots as development.

  • KarlMalone

    Let’s see:
    -Gates Condo Tower (wrecked)
    -Elmwood Hotel (wrecked)
    -Peace Bridge (wrecking)
    -Seneca Casino (wrecked itself)
    -Hell, ask Larry Quinn how hard it was to build the HSBC Arena
    -Buffalo Shooting Club 9wrecked)
    -BNI Airport (almost wrecked)
    -Cyrstal Beach Development (hopefully not wrecked)
    -Pano’s (luckily didn’t wreck)
    You could argue:
    -Bass Pro
    -Cars on Main Street

  • KarlMalone

    If you got the money to play, then deal the cards.

  • JSmith

    The only one in that list that preservationists have or had anything at all to do with is the Peace Bridge plaza expansion (I don’t think most preservationists have any problem with the bridge itself), and that’s far from being settled.
    Preservationists lost their battle with the Seneca Casino when the H.O. grain elevator was demolished. Nothing left there to preserve, now.
    All of the other things on your list have nothing to do with preservationists, just NIMBYs who lived nearby and didn’t want change.

  • KarlMalone

    Right. Black isn’t really black, Black is actually blue and red combined and of course black is black. You’re off the hook now right?

  • The Kettle

    You forgot a few…
    Parking lot @ Genesee and Oak-wrecked
    Parking lot @ Main and Virginia-wrecked
    Convention center built over present day thriving neighborhood- wrecked
    Vacant lot @ Main and Riley (squire house)-wrecked
    Generic, meaningless park in ECH- wrecked
    Worthless urban prairie at the foot of paderewski-wrecked
    Kick and cry all you want but preservation projects are never wrong once they are completed. Getting that across the tear-it-downs and the church of the free market is the hard part.

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