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Big Deal: Theater Place Sold

A trailblazing Theater District property has traded hands. Legacy Development purchased Theater Place from Acquest Theater Place LLC for $3.25 million on Friday. The 41,000 sq.ft. complex at 622-640 Main Street was a pioneering redevelopment project in the Theater District when it opened in 1980.

The complex was redeveloped by a partnership between the City and Theater Place Associates, a group of 21 investors that included Alan Dewart, Irv Weinstein, and Irving Korn, with a heavy subsidy dose of UDAG funding. It consists of two buildings. The Otto-Kent Building, a five-story structure adjacent to Shea’s opened in 1896. In 1923, a covered area in the rear was added. It was built as the Main Central Market and later used as a dance hall and bowling alley. The two-story portion, the circa-1902 Root Building, was designed by E.B. Green. Hamilton Houston Lownie designed the adaptive reuse project.

Theater Place was a money loser for a number of years. It suffered from high tenant turnover and with a significant amount of common area carved into the first two floors, not enough leasable space to be profitable. Reminisce with me. Restaurant tenants over the years included: Cheers, Harlan’s, Antoinette’s Ice Cream, The Croissant Co., Gallery 101, Keystone Kelly’s, Beau Fleuve, The Juicery, and Melanie’s Sweets Unlimited.

Acquest purchased the complex in 2003 and brought stability. It is anchored by Club Marcella, Sue’s Deli and The Tralf. The FDA signed a 10-year lease for 16,620 sq.ft. of space in 2011.

According to Business First, Legacy Development is proposing to bring 15, one-bedroom apartments to the Otto-Kent Building’s third through fifth floors. The original project included residential units on these upper floors but they were converted to office use over time.

Legacy Development in working on the final phase of AXIS 360, a $40 million student housing complex off of LaSalle Avenue near Main Street.

Get Connected: Legacy Development, 716.689.3300

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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