A construction fence is up at the AM&A’s Department Store but it is unclear what the new owner exactly has planned for the long-dormant site. Lanco H & L purchased the property in November for $2.755 million and announced plans to put a mix of apartments, hotel, and retail space in the building. Redevelopment costs are said to be in the $60 to $70 million range. EI Team is designing the project.
Buffalo Business First says the first step in the massive reuse effort will soon be underway when crews start removing asbestos from the complex. Business First says the project will include a hotel with have up to 300 rooms that would cater to overseas tourists, a spa, medical center, and “Oriental-themed restaurant.”
Landco is said to be working with primarily Chinese investors to fund the project. Sources say one potential avenue is through the EB-5 program that offers green cards to foreigners if they invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. business or venture that creates 10 local jobs (see here for Houston example). Preservation tax credits are expected to be part of the funding mix as well.
Lanco must still obtain City approvals for the redevelopment project.