Niagara Financial Group, Inc. and Larkin Development Group today celebrated the official grand opening of The Larkin U Building, its the third completed rehabilitation project in the Larkin District. As a reward, Larkin bought another property up the street, the Swan Lounge at Swan and Seneca streets.
In May, First Niagara announced its plans to become the sole tenant of Larkin Development Group’s historic U Building. The 60,000 square foot building is home to almost 200 First Niagara employees including accounting, human resources, compliance, audit, treasury, enterprise risk management, commercial loan administration and First Niagara Risk Management.
“We’re excited to expand our presence in the Larkin District,” First Niagara Financial Group President and Chief Executive Officer John R. Koelmel said. “We are very pleased and proud of our collaborative partnership with Larkin Development Group, which shares the same level of commitment to the city and region as we do. We now have more than 500 employees working every day in our corporate home neighborhood and look forward to expanding our presence as we continue to grow our business.”
Larkin Development Group purchased The Larkin U Building in 2009, and over the last two years has rehabilitated the space to create a work environment that embraces the building’s character. Gensler, a globally-recognized architecture firm, was hired by First Niagara to preserve and restore many of the original design elements that are reminiscent of the late-1800’s style architecture, while also incorporating modern ergonomic interior finishes.
“The Larkin District was the original neighborhood of innovation and industry in Buffalo,” Larkin Development Group Principal Howard Zemsky said. “Through our relationships with First Niagara and our many tenants who share a common vision, we’ve been able to recreate a district that is a vibrant hub of energy and commerce, and today’s celebration represents another significant milestone for our District.”
Larkin Development Group’s vision for rehabilitating historic industrial and manufacturing buildings into premier office space has enabled the company to attract leading Western New York companies as District tenants.
According to Business First, Larkin Development plans to renovate the newly-acquired building for restaurant use on the ground floor and residential units upstairs. It is expected to open early next year. Larkin paid $245,000 for the building.