Digital marketing firm Cypress North is heading to Black Rock. The eight-year old firm is purchasing a one-story building at 211 Hertel Avenue to renovate for its use. The 16,530 sq.ft. building (9,600 sq.ft. main floor – Phase I) is located at the corner of Pacific Street and has 16 on-site parking spaces.
The company is currently located at 567 Exchange Street in the Larkin District. Caitlin Coder of Hastings Cohn Real Estate brokered the deal.
Buffalo Rising got a chance to catch up with CTO/Partner Matthew Mombrea and Digital Marketer/Partner Greg Finn, to discuss the new development, which positions the entire team of developers, designers, and digital marketers in a neat old building on a quirky part of Hertel.
“The building has been vacant/abandoned for quite some time. It was built in ~1930 and was used for manufacturing,” Mombrea told Buffalo Rising. “Records indicate it may have originally been intended for medical manufacturing. It was used as a factory for building fuses at one time, and sits on an old rail line that used to connect to the main rail system to the east of it.”
When asked about the search that led to acquiring 211 Hertel, Mombrea replied, “We had been looking for properties for over a year. We had been through dozens of properties in that time, but the recent boom in building renovations made finding anything in a great location very difficult. We’re not a property developer obviously, so we were at a disadvantage in the buying market. Big things on our list were parking, open space, and room to expand. Quirky is a nice way to describe the spot, but the surrounding area is really coming to life – Chandler Street is less than a mile away as is the new Uniland project on Elmwood/Hertel. It’s also right across the street from the Buffalo Free Trade Complex, and near to Niagara Street, home to some of our existing clients. We’re hopeful that we can contribute to the revival of this pocket on Hertel that hasn’t seen improvement or new development yet – and we’ve always been fans of Black Rock.
According to Mombrea, the timing was perfect for the transition, and will allow their company to grow in ways that it could not have when they were leasing space. Plus, the building turned out to suit their needs to a T.
“Our current space that we rent is in an old warehouse loft setting which we like the style of,” said Mombrea. “211 Hertel is similar in that it’s a wide open warehouse with huge windows, tall ceilings, overhead doors and other cool features. It’s also got the original 1930 front office space that is really neat with the original woodwork and giant glass fronted offices and a big walk in safe. The building requires a full renovation so it’s going to be a significant project over the next 12 months or so.”
“Cypress North has been slowing outgrowing its current space (567 Exchange Street) as we continue to hire local talent and expand our products and services. We’ve added a creative/design department in recent years which, coupled with our digital marking and software engineering departments, has made us an all Buffalo, all in-house full service agency. Roughly half of our clients are now outside of Buffalo, and we’ve been proud to bring outside revenue to the area. Additionally, we’ve added a photo/video studio and sound studio and are running low on room.”
Adds Mombrea, “Renting means that there is a limit to what we can invest in and control in our environment. We want to have something really good for our employees to come to and spend their days in, and we also want that experience to extend to our clients. Purchasing this property means that we’ll have a blank slate to build to our needs, and hopefully build something that is one-of-a-kind. It will give us ample room to continue to hire and grow for years to come, and will give us the freedom to work how we want. Training has always been big for us, and we’d love to make a space to help others in our industry thoughout the area. This will be a challenging project I’m sure, but our hope is that once we get through it, we can work with the Black Rock community to become supportive residents and give back to the area.”