Downtown’s biggest white elephant has found a buyer according to The Buffalo News:
A wealthy downstate businessman who lost out in the foreclosure auction for One Seneca Tower last fall has now signed a contract to acquire the 38-story building in downtown Buffalo from the lender, with plans for a $100 million redevelopment.
Harvey Kaylie, together with confidant David Nalbandyan, have agreed to purchase the tallest private building in upstate New York. The purchase price was not disclosed, but sources confirmed it’s about $27 million.
Early plans call for “at least” 15 floors of office space, 100 or more residential units, shopping and restaurants on the first floor, and possibly a small hotel. An observation deck and restaurant on the top is also likely along with improvements to the complex’s plaza area fronting Seneca Street.
HSBC vacated the tower when its lease expired in late-2013. Bank employees occupied 2/3 of the 38-story building straddling Main Street, or 650,000 sq.ft. Law firm Phillips Lytle moved to One Canalside and the tower lost tenants Capital One Financial, the Canadian Consulate, and others. The exodus left the tower over 95 percent vacant.
Previous owner Seneca One Realty LLC had begun exploring reuse options including adding residential and/or hotel space to the building. The owner brought in a panel of Urban Land Institute (ULI) professionals to study possible new uses and a redevelopment strategy for the building. Their recommendation was to convert the building into mixed use including office space, rental and for-sale residential, a hotel, and ground-floor retail similar to the plan outlined by the future owners. Seneca One Realty lost the building to foreclosure leaving the tower in limbo.
The buyers expect to close on the deal within 30 days.