Chris Jacobs’ redevelopment project at 678 Main Street is set to be finished by the end of the month. The $1.36 million project is bringing new life to an ornate, yet previously underutilized building that fronts the light rail tunnel entrance. Jacobs has done several other rehabs and renovations in the city. He has parterned with Savarino Cos. in the Cobblestone District and his own firm, Avalon Development, has done a string of redevelopments in the 700 block of Main Street. He recently took time out of his busy schedule to take Buffalo Rising contributors on a tour of the progress at 678 Main thus far.
Currently the second floor of the building is occupied by 3rd Learning which recently relocated and expanded from another one of Jacob’s buildings. The company worked closely with Dean Sutton Architects to determine the layout which would work best for their needs. The two residential units in the project that are located on the Pearl Street side of the property will be used by the company so that when their partners come from out of town they can stay and work in the same building (more on that component of the project in a future story).
Daily Post has signed a lease with Jacobs as they have outgrown their offices on Franklin Street. The company is taking the ground floor and will be in its new space around July 1. It does high-end editorial and motion graphics for broadcast and news media sources.
Rather than building new, Jacobs chooses time and time again to restore and reuse what already exists. He enjoys the challenges which old buildings present and strives to “create unique spaces which are not cookie cutter.”
Avalon’s building interiors are typically loft-like with exposed brickwork, hardwood floors and exposed duct work and ceiling joists. The space seems to attract creative, web-based and start-up companies.
The ground floor retains much of its original architectural features which will be highlighted by the completion date. Some of these features include ornate tin ceilings, hardwood floors, arched openings, and circular plaster reliefs.
With other projects along Main Street already completed by Jacob, he felt confident in doing another. Since the building was available when he was looking for another project he jumped at the opportunity to continue rehabbing buildings in the Theater District.