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Big Reveal: Larkin Development’s Future Plans

Though disappointed that their proposal was not recommended as the location of a second Emerson Culinary School, Larkin Development Group is dedicated towards improving the Larkin District.

Larkin Development Group first began the work of restoring and developing the historic Larkin District neighborhood, now referred to as “Larkinville,” in the summer of 2002. The company acquired the mammoth Larkin Terminal Warehouse at 726 Exchange Street and converted the building into class A office space. The risky move paid off as the building filled with companies desiring modern office space with loft-like finishes, large floor plates, convenient highway access close to downtown, and ample parking.

The company followed-up that success with other projects including streetscape improvements, a parking ramp adjacent to the Larkin at Exchange Building, the Larkin U Building on Van Rensselaer Street (above, now occupied by Key Bank), The Schaefer Building on Seneca Street, Larkin Square and The Filling Station, Hydraulic Hearth, The Duchmann Building occupied by Buffalo Distilling Co., and a pair of rehabs at 867-871 Seneca Street (below).

Currently underway is the Swan Street Diner project adjacent to Hydraulic Hearth (above). The 1937 fully-restored diner will open in September. The company is not stopping there and has a number of developments planned to bring additional businesses and fun to the neighborhood.

Live/Work Buildings. Plans are underway for live/work spaces on Seneca Street near Smith Street (right).  A series of buildings with retail on the first floor and residential on the second and third floors are planned.  Targeted for Fall 2019 occupancy.

111 Hydraulic Street. This site is located east of Larkin Square, across from Flying Bison Brewery. The company will be conducting an architecture competition for over 100,000 sq.ft. of retail, commercial, and residential to be built on this site this year. Completion is anticipated in Fall 2021.

Public Park Space. The development of the former Ameripride site, next to Flying Bison, will include recreational amenities such as tennis, basketball, volleyball and a running track available to be enjoyed by those who live, work, visit or attend school in the neighborhood by Fall of 2020.

Larkin Lanes. The development and return of the former neighborhood bowling alley at the corner of Seneca and Griffin Streets. This long abandoned building will have a new chapter as a refurbished bowling alley and eatery with a fall 2020 completion date.

Larkin Men’s Club. This historic building (above), once a social hall for the Larkin Soap Company and located across from the Swan Street Diner fronting both Swan and Seneca streets, will be redeveloped into commercial and residential space by fall 2019.

Larkin Development also posted their proposal for a second Emerson Culinary School on their web page.  The 80,000 sq.ft. new school building would have occupied a prominent site at Smith, Exchange and Seneca streets at the eastern gateway to the neighborhood.

Five developers proposed sites for the school and the Buffalo School District is recommending the C.W. Miller Livery Stable (aka Hertz Parking Garage) at 73-77 W. Huron Street. That project by Mark Croce and McGuire Development would see the historic property redeveloped and a connection built to tie it into the existing Emerson School on Chippewa Street. The District Board is expected to vote on the site next week.

School or not, Larkin Development Group is forging ahead.  Says Larkin partner and “Director of Fun” Leslie Zemsky, “We are really proud of the progress Larkin Development Group and other developers have made in bringing the Larkin District back to being a thriving mixed-use neighborhood.”

Get Connected: Larkin Development Group, 716.362.2662

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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