Even as construction crews continue to work toward full build-out, the redevelopment of the E.M. Hager & Sons Planing Mill building at 141 Elm Street is already shaping up as an address of choice for those looking to take advantage of downtown Buffalo’s residential rebirth.
Officials from TM Montante Development, the firm leading the conversion of the historic building into a state-of-the-art mixed use space, announced that 30 percent of the 22 residential units have been leased, and that the first residents are set to move in on September 1. Apartments range from 900 square feet to 1,800 square feet and are priced from $900 to $2,000/month.
“We are already seeing tremendous enthusiasm for this project specifically, and for the downtown atmosphere as a whole,” said Christian Campos, chief financial officer, TM Montante Development. “The momentum in downtown is continuing to build upon itself, and we are seeing wave upon wave of new projects – commercial, residential, entertainment, dining and hospitality, etc. – in various stages of development. All of that activity is giving downtown Buffalo an entirely new identity, which is attracting people’s interests. The Planing Mill project can be a cornerstone in that movement.”
While developments on and around the nearby Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus have been seen as an important catalyst for the wealth of activity in the downtown core, TM Montante Development officials have seen interest in their project across a breadth of audiences.
The new residential units will complement the more than 10,000 square feet of Class A commercial space featured on the building’s first floor. C&S Companies, a full-service engineering firm, moved into a 6,500-square-foot office this spring, and TM Montante Development has had active discussions with a number of potential tenants for the remaining 4,100 square feet of commercial space.
As it continues to build out and lease the remaining residential and commercial space at the Planing Mill, TM Montante Development has also updated the website for the property, www.PlaningMillBuffalo.com, to include new photos of completed apartments and other information.
The adaptive re-use project will preserve the historic qualities of the property, while using cutting-edge clean energy technology to power the building. TM Montante Development will seek LEED certification for the building. Plans to work with sister company Montante Solar to install solar panels onsite are underway.
The oldest building in the historic complex is the three-story main block, constructed in 1878. The two-story wing to the north and the three-story section behind it were built a few years later (c. 1880) by a different wood working company. The final addition came circa 1920 with the construction of a three-story wing that includes a mezzanine level. TM Montante Development purchased the site in 2012 and worked with Preservation Studios to secure historic preservation tax credits.
“The transformation of downtown is being fueled by projects like this, which embrace the culture and historic character of Buffalo’s building infrastructure and re-imagine it in a contemporary way to produce new opportunities to live, work and enjoy the heart of the city,” Campos added.
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