A pair of prominent Niagara Street properties have traded hands. Fred LoFaso’s Fairmount Development Inc. sold 295-305 Niagara Street to Niagara Street Buffalo LLC on January 24 for $1,350,276.01. The properties are some of the first motorists see exiting the 190 at Niagara Street. Word has finally trickled out, and confirmed by several sources, that the buyer is architect/developer Jake Schneider.
In 2007, LoFaso purchased the Turner Bros. building at 295-305 Niagara Street (originally built as a sarsaparilla, gingers and bitters manufacturer in 1853) and the adjoining taller building to the north built as a storage facility in 1920. The two buildings boast 55,000 sq.ft. of space. While the taller of the buildings would remain as storage over the years, the Turner Bros. building housed various companies, producing such products as children’s carriages, fittings and ultimately bike peddles.
LoFaso spent two years remediating the properties preparing them for reuse. A one-story building that housed a dry cleaner and later a car wash was demolished and contaminated soil has been removed. LoFaso’s plans prepared by architect Brad Wales included Green Options Buffalo (GO-Buffalo) taking most of the complex’s 11,160 sq.ft. first floor for its offices and a bike workshop. 14,880 sq.ft. of office space was to be located on floors two thru five of the six-story building. The balance of the complex was to include 21 loft apartments, each with approximately 1,000 sq.ft. of space.
Schneider’s exact plans for the property are unknown. He has an impressive historic preservation portfolio including the rehab of 210 Ellicott Street into offices and upscale lofts, the AC Lofts project on Elm Street, and is currently rehabbing 145-149 Swan Street into 50 upscale apartments and commercial space.