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In Rehab: 867-871 Seneca Street

Larkin Development Group is best known for the rehabilitation of the Larkin Commerce Center and several other buildings surrounding Larkin Square at Seneca and Swan streets. It has also purchased over three dozen smaller properties in the neighborhood in recent years both vacant lots and underutilized or vacant buildings. It is currently gutting two of its smaller buildings for eventual reuse on Seneca Street.


867 (right) and 871 (left) Seneca Street, two of the smaller buildings Larkin Development Group owns, are currently being gutted and prepared for eventual reuse. They’re at the eastern gateway into the Larkin District as they are the first properties on the south side of Seneca Street west of Smith Street.

“We’re primarily doing shell work including roof, masonry andcarpentry, windows, façade, as well as getting the interior ready for someone else’s imagination and handy work,” says Howard Zemsky, managing partner of Larkin Development Group.

“We envision live-work space with residential upstairs and a studio or office on the first floor,” he says. “The interior has been cleared out to provide maximum flexibility for a new design. We aren’t actively marketing it at this time. We’ll be flexible depending on use and enthusiasm for helping to pioneer the revival of the district.”

According to the City’s property database, 867 Seneca has 1,848 sq.ft. of space and was built in 1906. Neighboring 871 Seneca has 2,244 sq.ft. and was built in 1888.

Get Connected: Larkin Development Group: 716.362.2677


Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • LouisTully

    Larkin Group leading the charge.  Cashing in on their own hard work.  Good stuff.

  • Stateofmind

    Why not turn the first floor in to retail, and complement the district’s going’s-on, as opposed to ” studio or office on the first floor”? That seems a much better direction.
    Beautiful little buildings….

  • jvgriffis

    Any older photos exist of these? Just curious…

  • Buffalo_Resurrection

    I would have though 867 Seneca would habe been more 1870-1880 with the Eastlake detailing not 1906…

  • Buffalo_Resurrection
    Could be…the City’s property database dates are typically off.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    Driving by I always thought these building were super cool. I’m glad to see them being repurposed. Also, lets get some more residential down here so we can turn the neighborhood into more than a 9-5 spot.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    What type of retail and whom would you ever expect to support it. You can’t run a business just based on the 9-5 crowd.

  • 5to81allday

    whats the point of the small little alleyway in between the two

  • solonggone

    5to81allday  The windows on each of the buildings say ‘hi’…

  • reggdunn

    Curious to know the purchase price.

  • Stateofmind

    BeardedBuffalonian Stateofmind it’s chicken and egg, clearly. However, these folks are creating a district, which will require as much opportunity for people to eat, shop, etc. as possible. It’s like having a main street with offices on the first floor–it’s dead, and is a short-term solution.

  • EAHS 1972

    Good news.  One house, one street, one block at a time.

  • buffalot

    Not to be nit-picky, but the Larkin Commerce Center is owned by Seneca Larkin Holdings, not the Larkin Development Group. Both parties are doing amazing things for this area but seem to not get along, at all… Either way, I work in “Larkinville” and am amazed each week with how much work is being done.

  • Stateofmind

    buffalot  Right. Seneca Larkin Holdings…you mean the one that was trying to covertly tear down the Larkin Power House a few weeks ago? That is not an example of “amazing”.

  • buffalot

    Stateofmind You don’t know the whole story.

  • OldFirstWard

    I was over here in late fall checking out both buildings as I thought I read that they were slated for demolition.   When I stopped by, both buildings were open to the elements and anyone who desired to walk in. The brick building on the left has a nice cast iron storefront framework detail, while the wood frame building on the left has a nice cornice detail along with some interesting window trim.
    Delighted to see they are both in the process of rehabilitation.  Though the pace of work is quite slow and barely noticeable.

  • OldFirstWard

    Could you elaborate on those details for us.

  • EB_Blue

    Buffalo_Resurrection They’re both circa 1890, according to insurance maps.

  • buffalot

    OldFirstWard It seems as though many people jumped the gun – there are drawings in the lobby of the Larkin Commerce Building showing the plans for the Power House building as well as a much-improved streetscape plan.