The AM&A’s Department Store has sold to another downstate firm for $2.775 million. After years of inactivity, there were at least two offers for the property. Landco H&L Inc. beat out Hamister Group for the long-vacant property. Jonathan Epstein has the scoop:
A New York City-based investor bought the 350,000-square-foot edifice in downtown Buffalo today, spending $2.775 million to take control of the eight-story building at 377 Main St.
The buyer, Landco H&L Inc., is registered to an address in Flushing, Queens, but could not be further identified beyond the corporate name. Its plans for the building could not be determined.
The surprise deal comes amid renewed local interest in adaptive reuse of the building, real estate sources say. Hospitality developer Hamister Group was negotiating an agreement to buy the former department store to proceed with its own redevelopment plans, when the Buffalo-based firm was notified two weeks ago that the seller was withdrawing from talks with Hamister and another buyer. CEO Mark E. Hamister would not comment further on the discussions, citing confidentiality agreements he signed during the discussions.
According to the NYS Corporation Database, Landco H & L Inc. receives mail at 41-60 Main Street #305, Flushing, New York. It was first registered in 2010. A Google search found nothing on the company. For what it is worth, the Flushing address is also home to American Business Institute (ABI) and could just be a mailbox service.
ABI is a home health care agency,dedicated to home and community-based health care. Licensed by the NYS Department of Health, ABI provides compassionate care for the communities we serve, which include Nassau county and the five boroughs of NYC.
The AM&A’s Department Store has been vacant since 1999- fifteen years and counting. Reuse plans have come and gone for the prime site but no one has been able to strike a development deal. Multiple sources say that is on the verge of changing. A potential buyer reportedly has the property under contract with a quick, 30-day close anticipated. Details on the buyer and redevelopment plans are scarce but one downtown insider says a mostly-residential project is envisioned.
The property has faced an uncertain future since Bon Ton shuttered the store in March 1995. The 350,000 sq.ft. former department store is owned by Roslyn Heights-based New Horizons Acquisitions LLC. The development company purchased the property in September 2006 for $2,050,000 and announced a $60 million project to convert it into a mix of 180 apartments and ground floor retail that went nowhere.
City officials had been pressing New Horizons in Housing Court to move forward with redevelopment plans for the imposing downtown building. They have also asked New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to pressure the owners into selling which some say was only public posturing to push this potential deal towards the finish line. Stay tuned.