Douglas Development is taking a phased approach to redeveloping One Seneca Plaza now named Seneca One Tower. Up first is bringing life to the tower’s plaza. Douglas Jemal unveiled the ambitious plan at a CBRE Buffalo event this evening.
Jemal plans to bring 75,000 sq.ft. of retail space to property including -plaza-level and street-level areas and constructing new structures within the plaza. A mix of restaurants and bars are planned along with traditional retailing, a fitness center and grocery. The plaza’s four-story wings would be converted into market-rate residences, Lofts @ Seneca One. Work to gut and prepare the plaza buildings for reuse was recently put out to bid and is expected to start shortly.
Plans for the tower are still in flux but reuse is expected to include a mix of office, hotel, and residential space.
Jemals Seneca LLC paid $8,980,500 for the vacant tower and $3,632,400 for the adjacent parking ramp at Washington and Exchange streets in early October. Jemal estimated redevelopment of the complex will take about five years and cost around $100 million, making it one of the larger construction projects in recent years.
The 38-story building’s struggles began after HSBC Bank and Phillips Lytle relocated in 2013, followed by a steady stream of smaller tenants. Loan servicer LNR Partners foreclosed on the tower in October 2015 and the attached parking ramp south of Coca Cola Field in March 2016 after prior owner Seneca One Realty defaulted. Seneca One Realty paid $85 million for the property in 2005.