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Apartments Planned for Historic Swan Street Properties

Architect/Developer Jake Schneider has found another project.  The Apartments at the HUB will be mixed-use development bringing new life to 145 and 149 Swan Street.  10,000 sq.ft. of commercial space and 50 upscale apartments are planned.  
The project is strategically located at an entrance to downtown in the southeast corner of the central business district.  It is within a mile of three major catalysts driving new development and job creation; the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Larkinville and Canalside.
145 Swan Street was built in 1908 for Witkop & Holmes, a grocery business that commissioned the 30,000 sq.ft. brick and frame structure.  149 Swan Street was designed by Lansing & Beirel, Architects and constructed in 1896 for Sibley & Holmwood Candy Company, a local confectioner that later partnered with several other businesses nationwide to form the National Candy Company.  The 50,000 sq.ft., five-story, steel, frame, brick and wood deck structure is well preserved with high ceilings and beautiful brickwork on the Swan Street Elevation.


Plans for the first floor retail space include a vision that centers on expanding the bicycle culture in the region.  The WNY Bicycle Center will feature a retail bicycle and repair shop, a bicycle fitness and commuter facility with showers and lockers, a bicycle rental service, collaboration with cultural tourism for bicycle-based excursions, a café and bar with outdoor patio, the WNY Bicycle Museum and a community use conference center for bicycle clubs and not-for-profit bicycle-related community organizations.  The owners of Merge restaurant will run the café.
Adam Trost and Rebecca Erb, owners of the Bike Shop in East Aurora, are planning on relocating and expanding their business.
“Adam and I are truly excited to be able to take advantage of the increased customer density and excitement that exists in the downtown,” says Erb.  
The fifty new upscale, market-rate apartments will be a mix of one and two bedroom units ranging in size from 1,020 to 1,345 sq.ft.  The units will feature granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, solid core doors, hardwood flooring, whirlpool tubs and underground parking.  Tenants will have access to a rooftop garden deck with views of downtown.  
The neighborhood has experienced significant progress over the last few years with construction of the Public Safety Campus, Schneider’s Lofts at 136, and construction of the Buffalo Transportation Museum.  Newly-announced projects at the Gutman Building located at 133 South Division and the Hager Mills building located at 141 Elm Street will help continue this momentum.  Additional opportunity exists for development in the neighborhood with the pending auction of the shuttered Sheehan Memorial Hospital.
The renovation project is expected to cost $13.5 million and is planned to be completed in spring 2014.  Historic review and approval services are being provided by Preservation Studios.
Get Connected: Schneider Design, 716.923.7000

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • ajthomas24

    Wow! Way to go Adam and Becky! This will be a great new space for you and I believe something that Bufalo really needs and truly appreciate.

  • tbk125

    These are a growing trend, I like the concept alot. I’ve read about others such as and it makes sense. I am a mountain biker not a road biker but when I take my bike to the shop I usually hang out for at least 20 min just because.

  • Queen City Studio

    Why not keep the fire escape (adds character) but turn them into gardens or something cool? Either way, going to look great!

  • millertime486

    Very exciting!! Just looking for a bit of clarifications, is it going to be 5 apartments or 50? I think I read both in the article

  • ajthomas24

    Angry Catfish is an awesome shop. Look up Heritage bike shop as well in Chicago: very cool! Velo Cult in Portland and Road 34 in Fort Collins also serve beer! Put a good IPA and some Rusty Chain on tap and that would really seal the deal for me 🙂

  • Buffaloian

    Beautiful. Can’t wait for all these old ladies to be renovated and reused so that developers can start some infill projects for all the surface lots. These buildings are like islands in a sea of asphalt.

  • downincircles

    Everytime a building like this gets redone I’m prouder and prouder of what Buffalo is transforming into within downtown.
    Doesn’t hurt that my favorite bike shop is moving in there too!

  • Hefa

    Congrats to Jake Schneider. He is doing great work in this neighborhood. The core of Buffalo is being reborn before our eyes. It’s a good time to be a Buffalonian.

  • tbk125

    Buffalo bicycle brewery tour? BBB!!!!!!!!

  • elmdog

    No matter what the season is…Roof top patios sell properties or at least guarantee rentals….I love it, being able to sit outside in the fall, summer, spring on a roof top patio over looking the city…place looks amazing…more please….

  • Travelrrr

    Stupendous! This is the kind of creative, adaptive reuse Buffalo needs–Buffalo will need more than residential in its core, if it is to become a real, vibrant city.
    Can’t wait for some really creative and inspiring infill projects (holds breath).

  • Travelrrr

    And, a great time to become a preservationist… help ensure that we don’t lose more opportunities like this throughout the city.

  • JSmith

    What beautiful buildings! So glad they are being saved.
    The downside is that this area is so out of the way and adrift in an ocean of parking lots that I’m not even sure I ever really noticed these buildings before. The location isn’t exactly what I would consider the most hospitable to being a focus of bicycling activities, but then again, renovating these buildings and getting residents into them will eventually improve the prospects for real urban in-fill here.
    I wonder if this affects the planned “Bicycle Building” project on Niagara Street. It seems like there’s some overlap in programming here (not necessarily a bad thing).

  • schvanstuchen

    It looks like a firepit on the patio so you can enjoy the great views in the winter too!

  • burbsarenotbuffalo

    you are absolutely right. so many buildings in this city prohibit the tenants from using the roof, for no apparent reason. It’s really a shame.

  • schvanstuchen

    I am also a mountain biker and there is nothing better than after a long day on the singletrack in the mountains of ellicottville than a burger and a cold ale at the gin mill or ebc!! Bikes and beer just go naturally together!

  • schvanstuchen

    Hopefully some of the parking could be converted to green space. There really isn’t any parklike area in that part of downtown.

  • buffloonitick

    in the eyes of the insurance people gravity is a liability.
    it’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop.

  • 300miles

    Very true for this area of the city. It’s all parking.

  • I Laugh at Bills Fans

    Buffalo just keeps getting better and more interesting every day!

  • Travelrrr

    As Grad says–we don’t need more pocket parks, we need density.

  • hamp


  • Prospero

    Apartments are nice, but how about some condos? There seems to be a significant unmet need for condos in the $150k-$300 range downtown. Most of what I’ve seen is either low build quality junk or the $500k-$1mm luxury stuff.

  • elmdog

    Why wasnt this stuff around before I was old and owned a house????Makes for a great city feeling…Now we just need the city to bustle at more hours …..

  • elmdog

    A relative of mine spent 5 years owning at small condo next to the Himalayan Institute on Delaware and red tape kept the roof top patio from being opened…He passed away and never got to enjoy

  • schvanstuchen

    I agree completely. My point is that some green space is better that a big parking lot until more development occurs.

  • Buffalo_Resurrection

    Yes! – Thank You!
    I know there are a billion ordinance and legal reason for apartments verses condominiums but once you own, traditionally, you do not return to renting (I know, there are exceptions but generally).

  • MrBurnz

    Please please please remove the Buffalo Bills advertisement painted to the side of building. So many people use the Elm Street exit to enter downtown, it acts as a gateway of sorts and a giant billboard asking you to reserve your Bills sideline Club Seats for the 99 Season makes it look like our city is stuck in a time warp.
    There have been some amazing things happening downtown but its things like this that looks horrible for visitors, thank god this is getting renovated

  • paulsobo

    Take a look at a satellite map of the area.
    What you will see is how much property the Skyway access ramp consumes and in doing so removes the property from tax paying status as well as acting as a barrier between the Canal District and downtown.
    Get rid of it.
    Swan was also the location of the Art Nuveau Hotel Buffalo. The precurser to the Statler. A huge loss for our city when it was demolished for … yes… parking lot.
    You can mention any number of reasons why Buffalo under-utilizes its roof real estate…but other cities maximize their roof space legitimately and with insurance. If other cities have solved the issue…then its just another area where Buffalo is backward

  • BuffaloBobZ

    Great news! More mass downtown equals a healthier core, plus whats not to love about bicycling! Well done and keep up the momentum, buffalo!

  • Buffalogni

    Rooftop garden deck? Rooftop, yes. Deck, yes. Garden? I don’t see any plants.

  • grad94

    someone pinch me so that i know i’m not dreaming. a bike center downtown! thumbs -and- toes up!

  • grad94

    oh, and is the “WNY Bicycle Museum” carl burgwardt’s bicycle collection from orchard park?

  • Buffalo: Then & Now

    It seems that there are alot of renovations that include apartments, condos, and hotel rooms. But what ever happened to the ?

  • Buffalo: Then & Now

    It seems that there are alot of renovations that include apartments, condos, and hotel rooms. But what ever happened to the ?

  • Buffalo: Then & Now

    It seems that there are alot of renovations that include apartments, condos, and hotel rooms. But what ever happened to the ?

  • The Boss

    head to and search for condos you will be quite surprised at the number of units under $200K

  • The Boss

    and how about that building off 190 ramp on Niagara St, I recall that having a bicycle shop,

  • __|bflo|__


  • LouisTully

    Carl Paladino happened to it.
    Sometimes these developers remind me of George Costanza: “When I don’t have the money to cover rent I’ll ‘forget’ to sign the check”. Or a student submitting a homework assignment via email but ‘forgets’ to attach the file to buy more time. I’ve never done that…
    I’ve regularly seen about 3-5 workers at the Graystone. You know, enough to look like something’s being done to it.

  • brownteeth

    They recently demolished the carwash building on that site which is part of a brownfield clean-up I believe. Hopefully that’s a sign that they’re still progressing.

  • Chris

    Where is Service Canvas going?

  • BuffaloRox

    Great to see these buildings rehabbed. Perhaps it will lead to create some customer flow for the building at the corner of Swan and Michigan. Two pizza & pasta businesses that have been in that building since it was rehabbed have failed or struggled. Cool old bar in the front space of that building (reported on BR as a pre-prohibition tavern that was tied to Simon Pure). Hopefully a rehab of the little group of buildings on Seneca (behind these on Swan) will follow.

  • LouisTully

    Interesting. I wonder about it whenever I get off the ramp there. But isn’t that space where they were talking about that modular container shopping area?
    On a side, as soon as someone puts a Tim Horton’s somewhere between downtown and the Niagara off-ramp they are going to rake in the bucks. My wife drives all the way to North Buffalo for Tim Ho’s because outside of 7-5 during the week there is no Tim Horton’s open.

  • Quixote

    A sensible reuse of a structure with great bones. Better to have a lot of singles like this than waiting for a three run homer.
    To think Earl Ketry called Jake “the grinch who stole downtown”.

  • flyguy

    Yay for street trees. These areas near downtown can use a whole lot more! Very cold and sterile environments without. Good news project all around!

  • mjd1001

    As others have mentioned, there needs to be a bit more greenspace around this area, right now there is way too much blacktop and concrete.

  • brownteeth

    I agree with that. I noticed the same minimal work going on there. And love it or hate it but you’re right about a Tim Ho’s on Niagara. If someone tore down that 80’s looking vacant Church at Huron and Niagara that would make a great location for the Tim Hortons.

  • Pubmoney1

    Right behind this is a collection of buildings on Seneca St. The old Major Hooples Restaurant and a pawn shop. Who owns these? They look like perfect candidates for a make over.

  • JSmith

    Why/when did he call him that?

  • paulsobo

    EEC needs to put that med school downtown and not Williamsville. Did they ever succeed in changing it to downtown?
    They need to get rid of the skyway access ramp and put that land back on the tax roles
    And Im guessing that since the entire building including the interior walls is concrete…the entire interior may need to be demolished. If that is the case…then just fess up and say your only going to save the exterior facade…and anything of value in the interior will be salvaged for the rebuild. Nuff Sed…do it and lets move off this charade.

  • __|bflo|__


  • paulsobo

    I think that happened along time back when others brought up the graystone.
    The ECC Med School downtown is only blocks away and the same goes for the Skyway access ramp.
    You cant really have this area be vital if its still piece meal.
    Same for Elm-Oak. It will never be vibrant with an Arteriole disguised as a road.

  • EAHS 1972

    Great place to live if you’re a Bisons or Sabres fan. Easy walk to the venues.

  • Rand503

    Love the project. Question: the trees in the renderings look pretty mature and fluffy. With most projects, the developer puts in spindly twigs that are dead the next year. Is that going to the be case here? Or are they really going to put in 15 year old trees? Or is this rendering supposed to guessimate how the project will look 15 years from now, when the trees are lush and mature?

  • charger

    Considering that most of those trees aren’t even on property that is part of the development site I’d guess that it’s mostly window dressing. They would actually be better off planting smaller, younger trees. They will suffer less shock and in a few years would be ahead of where a tree that was larger when it was planted would be.

  • charger

    This area is a couple of blocks from Canalside, and a short bike ride from the Ohio Street corridor, Outer Harbor, LaSalle Park, etc, etc,. Do we really need greenspace everywhere? What we really need is more buildings, not more grass and trees.

  • 300miles

    Consider the mature trees a type of “Design Porn”. It’s just a fantasy but it gets everyone excited…


    Great discussion for me to read. I grew up in EA and in the 1970’s and 1980’s while my father ran a Mack Truck Dealership on Jefferson and Swan. I remember sitting next to my dad driving in the early winter mornings from my (now i know rural) town and feeling as if we were going to another planet. The discrepancy in setting was unnerving. We did not talk about it much through the years but we both understood that we were lucky/blessed. I was lucky that my dad had not chosen to be adrift. My dad was blessed in having had his choices pay off. One very real image from my childhood was, again, driving with my dad to the bank. It has 3, maybe 4 men at a corner store gathered around each other and it was like a tuesday morning. My dad did not stand around on corners, not with anyone, be it Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday. I had never seen this.
    This image remains a picture in my mind because I did not know how to feel. I still don’t.
    The windows in the high-rise across Jefferson, where now and again an ambulance would come, were broken. Just broken. They were never fixed in all the years we were there as boss’s kids or boss’s workers. I am glad to hear of a renaissance in that part of our beautiful Buffalo. Great work. I hope it is Shared with those who have been there a long time, like when it was deserted. I will surely visit the neighborhood the next time I am downtown. MH

  • bfloboy86

    Very impressed that so many downtown projects are progressing at once.

  • LouisTully

    I haven’t studied the other options but that’s the wrong side of the street. Gotta have it on the west side of Niagara. Right hand turn into the place, right hand turn out of it back on your way to work downtown. Either way, all the commuters coming in to downtown between the Niagara off-ramp and work… rake in the bucks. You would need two drive-thru lanes. Zero other now. M-F, 7-5 would be huge by itself not even considering the weekend and night business. It would be a can’t-miss.

  • LouisTully

    Actually maybe that would be a good location, and the only option. There doesn’t look like there is any options on the west side of the street because of that (public?) housing. That church is vacant, you say? I’d bet my house that location would kill. Unfortunately it seems a lot more would be necessary:

  • Quixote

    when Jake would not let him hang balconies on the Lafayette.

  • grad94

    also known as nature bandaids.

  • Cam33r4

    Great news! The more apartments and living spaces downtown, however, the more need there will be for grocery store. Someone should be getting on that.

  • Jefferson Humboldt

    Still, a Jim Norton’s would do pretty well…

  • bernicebuffalove


  • BFLOwatch

    how about some condos? i want to buy a place, not pad developers pockets.

  • Rand503

    If they dont’ plan to put in trees, then they shouldn’t be included in the rendering.
    If they plan to put in small twigs, then the rendering should reflect that.
    Otherwise, they aren’t being honest.

  • Linksfiend

    I’d just like to suggest something be done to better marry the the front facade with the street level. Having the red bricks start at the second level is kinda awkward looking. Maybe bringing the two corner posts and the two wider interior columns down to grade might improve things.

  • JSmith

    I think this is a great project, but I have one really significant problem with it. The corner lot should not be enshrined as a parking lot by creating side entrances on the building that open out into the parking lot. Ideally, that corner parcel will be eventually developed as an in-fill building. The Planning Board should not permit a design that relies on or expects that the corner lot will remain open space forever, *especially* not in a downtown location.
    Other than that, I love it.

  • Dagner

    From a Buffalo issues group: “It appears that the collection of the Orchard Park Pedaling History Bicycle Museum will soon be auctioned off. This may be the entire collection as the auction is being split into three parts; Part I is on December 1, 2012.
    This link is to the auction site’s webpage: . The auction house is in Copake, NY, which is South/SSE of Albany.

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