This past May, I featured a significant real estate opportunity at the MidWay – 471 Delaware Avenue. Last week, Scott Croce closed on the building, which acts as a southern bookend to the rest of the historic brownstone buildings. Scott also owns the medical practice building (home of Erie County Chiropractic) that is located across the street at 468 Delaware Avenue, which is how the Midway property popped up on his radar. “I look at the building every day from my office,” said Scott. “I felt that there would be a good synergy by owning the building, and I had some thoughts about what I could do with it.”
One of the thoughts that Scott is considering is to convert the building into four large condo units. In order to create something truly special, he is mulling over the idea of cantilevering a building that would essentially be elevated over the parking lot at the corner (with parking below). A magnificent building once stood at the corner, which makes the parking lot even more depressing today. It would be awesome to see this vision come to pass.
Moving forward in the short term, Scott will be in a holding pattern until spring. During that time, he will be conducting his due diligence on the building, to ensure that the he can best pay tribute to the historic architectural landmark. He has already reached out to architects in Chicago and NYC who are versed in the world of brownstones. “I need to address the brickwork on the side of the building, the roof, and the parapet needs work,” Scott told me. “I also want to figure out how to restore the massive interior skylight over the center courtyard. There was once an open balcony at the top of the building – I would like to see that brought back, along with a rooftop terrace, possibly. Much of the interior will have to be rebuilt (see current state), which leaves plenty of possibilities. This could also be a single family home, or offices – I need to figure out what is best for the building and what makes sense economically. Most of the ideas would warrant an external elevator to be added to the back of the building. ”
In the meantime, Scott told me that he would like to restore the lion mural (featuring one of the Niagara Square lions) on the side of the building, since he will be fixing up the brickwork and plaster anyways. He wants to see the corner (where the parking lot is) transformed into a point of pride for the neighborhood – something that urbanists would be proud of. “I want to put the historic finishes back on the building, and figure out the proper fit for the interior,” mentioned Scott. “Whatever I end up doing, it’s going to be good for the building, and for the city.”
Scott purchased the building for $660K in a bidding war. It was a cash deal. He made mention that the only thing that we won’t see in the building is another restaurant, stating, “I’m 99% sure of that.”