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Seneca Street Lofts Progressing Well

Much progress has been made on Frontier Group of Companies’ Seneca Street Lofts project at 550 Seneca Street. A healthy group of workers are getting closer to completion under the direction of construction superintendent David Russell, who provided a tour of the building along with co-developer David Pawlik, who owns CSS Construction, the general construction firm that is renovating the 98,000 sq. ft. complex.

A compartmentalized first floor was opened up to provide secured enclosed parking for 78 cars. “There used to be some walls here,” said Russell as we surveyed the vast enclosed parking area. It is still a work in progress. “It took a lot of work just to get it to this point.”

Hall1 (768x1024)

SSL Kitchen1 (1024x768)

The 41 apartments come with an average unit cost of around $131,000 to build-out. The high ceilings will remain exposed, providing a modern industrial look. “There is a lot of prep work that goes into leaving them exposed,” said Pawlik. In the end, the extra work put into refinishing the raw surfaces produces the desired look, which is what differentiates these urban dwellings from their more standard counterparts.

Great Rm1 (1024x768)

Great Rm2 (768x1024)

The focal point in the impressive units are the panoramic operable windows which provide views of Larkinville to the east and downtown to the west. They are manufactured by Gamma (formerly CBO Glass) who employ several hundred people at their facility on Broadway in Alden.

SSL View (1024x731)

Softened floor finishes including hardwood floors, high-end carpet and ceramic tile will soon be laid over the bare concrete.

In addition to the apartments, there is 7500 square feet of dividable retail/restaurant space.

The exterior will be one of the last things to be tackled. “It will soon be parged with epoxy filler and then painted,” commented Pawlik. This will give the former gritty industrial space a bright and fresh look to top off the rehab, adding another completed high end reuse to the Larkinville corridor.

SSL Exterior (1024x683)

Carmina Wood Morris designed the adaptive re-use project, stylistically combining the best qualities of the former warehouse structure with the materials and amenities expected by today’s urban dwellers. Occupancy is scheduled for May 2015.


Developer Frontier Group of Companies is also involved in a large mixed-use rehab at neighboring 500 Seneca and are planning to co-develop a new build containing 78 apartments on Ohio Street.


Written by Tim Scanlon

Real estate and design nerd.

View All Articles by Tim Scanlon
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  • arcmorris

    Its “parged,” not parched.

  • Stateofmind

    love the patina on the brick

  • rcharlap67

    arcmorris Maybe it’s thirsty and simply needs a drink?

  • arcmorris

    rcharlap67 arcmorris good one 😉

  • Unlike 500 Seneca I like that this building uses grid lines for the windows. Plus, 500 Seneca doesn’t adhere to their renderings by having that neon sign they showed.
    Will be really nice to see how this place looks when they polish the exterior!

  • laldm109

    Buffaboy I strongly suspect the snap-in grids are being added later. The 550 Seneca project (FN Burt Warehouse) is getting historic tax credits, so the windows need to match at least the look of the old windows if not the construction. The National Park Service has been amendable recently to snap-in grids on new windows.

  • solonggone

    Would love to see at some point a project like this reach a little bit on the kitchens.  Even if doing something unique with the layout rather than jamming stock cabinets in the corner.  
    I don’t think it would be that much more expensive to do a large island rather than the typical galley.

  • jonny99

    I am pretty sure 500 Seneca has begun to add the window grids. Also BR is way behind the news these days as 500 has recently announced new tenants (offices, restaurant and some other building services) and some move in dates for offices and residents.

  • Well when I drove by last week I didn’t see grids, though that was last week and development flies here.

  • jonny99
    We’re getting there soon!

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    “A compartmentalized first floor was opened up to provide secured enclosed parking for 78 cars.”
    NOOOOOOOOO!!!! It should be mixed use. First floor retail, urban farming, co-op, bike share, car share, eco friendly solar panels on the roof, overpriced olive oil store, store selling only flannels for 140 bucks and really skinny jeans for 250. Oh and don’t forget a mustache fax stand outside that only hires inner city minorities.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    I thought the same thing when originally looking at the pictures.

  • grovercleveland

    Does your kitchen have a large island? If not, I don’t think it would be that much more expensive. Go for it!

  • solonggone

    The cost to add an island here would have been minimal.  Not sure what adding a kitchen to a home has anything to do with how a kitchen is built on a new build without any restrictions of walls or plumbing.  But to each their own.

  • rockpile38

    BeardedBuffalonian Or just industrial lofts with a restaurant component in an emerging neighborhood, that’s all.

  • WTFBuffalo

    Buffaboy I’m familiar with the 500 Seneca project and all of the windows will in fact have the grids installed prior to completion

  • WTFBuffalo

    solonggone grovercleveland Some of the units have breakfast barisland seating depending on the size of the unit.  I have walked through this project and can attest to that…

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    BeardedBuffalonian You’re an asshole, consistently.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    Matt Marcinkiewicz BeardedBuffalonian 
    Oh come on now sugar pants lighten up.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    rockpile38  BeardedBuffalonian 
    Ummmm emerging would be a stretch. There are way too many vacant lots and huge parking lots for this area to ever really become a “neighborhood.” Also, if you asked 9 out of 10 WNYers where this project is, or even where Seneca street is they wouldn’t even know. This area is still “off the grid” for many of us common folk.

  • rockpile38

    Yea that is a tough one I’d say border line emerging. I don’t know about what people scattered throughout WNY know about, but it home to FN HQ’s, a few new firms moving in, new restaurants & breweries, and these 3 buildings are getting flipped, but you’re right the rest is vacant land/parcels, poverty, and urban renewal, which is all great if there was more investment and residential development up & down Clinton connecting over to Seneca & Exchange Sts.

  • GotAnyChange

    If everything going on in this area of the city doesn’t constitute an emerging city hood, I don’t know what would. Lots of vacant lots but that doesn’t negate the crazy progress.