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First Commercial Tenants Announced for Monroe Building Redevelopment

The development group behind the reactivation of the former Record Theatre complex at 1786 Main Street in Buffalo announced today the signing of its first group of commercial tenants. The group, which is led by Jason Yots of Common Bond Real Estate, plans to convert the former Record Theatre complex into a mixed-use project known as The Monroe that will include market-rate apartments, offices and retail spaces.

Following several months of leasing activities, the group announced today that the following tenants have signed-on to occupy over half of the available commercial space in the project:

GoBike Buffalo and Reddy Bikeshare will collaborate to provide bike-oriented retail, office, classroom, and workshop spaces. Gutter Pop Comics will relocate from its current location on Elmwood Avenue to share the building’s restored automobile showroom with a record shop that will be owned and operated by Mark CostantinoFry Baby Donut Company also will relocate from Elmwood Avenue to open an expanded vegan donut shop that will offer a full coffee menu.

“We’re excited about the emerging tenant mix,” said Common Bond Real Estate president, Jason Yots. “We hoped to attract community-focused organizations to this site. GoBike and Reddy Bikeshare fit that bill perfectly, given their neighborhood-building activities on both sides of Main Street.”

“One of the biggest things we were hoping for were ‘destination’ tenants that appeal, not just to neighbors, but to folks all over the city,” said Richard Rogers, Principal at Urban Vantage. “Both Gutter Pop and Fry Baby will bring people from all corners of Buffalo, and also will add a unique cafe option for the area. We’re also thrilled to be able to add to the building’s record store legacy with Mark’s new record shop.”

There are commercial spaces still available in the project, ranging from 500 to 3,000 square feet. The developers are particularly interested in expressions of interest from co-working, child care, restaurant, and fresh food/grocery businesses. For leasing information, please contact: Derek King, 716.725.6410, derekking@preservationstudios.com

The developers expect to acquire the complex this fall, with construction to start in early 2020. BRD Construction will act as the project’s general contractor. eco_logic STUDIO will act as the project’s architect. The pending sale was brokered by Todd Danni of Envision Real Estate.

“We at Fry Baby Donut Company are excited to move to a location that will allow us the potential to provide our patrons with a cozy and most tender environment to partake in one of America’s greatest pleasures; eating donuts and drinking coffee. In addition, we would like to expand on our current menu offerings to bring you a more varied selection of delicious food and beverages. We are excited to be sharing space with some of Buffalo’s finest! The potential to create an environment for very fun and cool things to happen and some delicious food to be eaten is real and we are glad to be around for it.”

“The record store will be a community friendly atmosphere that will cater to fans of any genre of music, specializing in vinyl, CDs and other music related merchandise such as record players, literature, and t-shirts,” said proprietor Mark Costantino. “It will be a place that anyone from the most experienced music fan to the most casual will feel comfortable. We also have some ideas of making the space an outlet for some other fun and interesting projects. Overall though I’m really in love with the idea that we’re going to have several businesses that will work really well together in the same space and that also come from the same place, the heart.”

“The new location will bridge the gap between educational and cultural institutions throughout the city, from University at Buffalo and the University Heights district to downtown Buffalo, the Medical Campus, and the Northland Workforce Training Center, and communities from the east and west corners of our city. The transit-oriented development will allow better access for community members and students to reach GObike’s community workshop and educational space. Further, the City of Buffalo’s planned protected bicycle lanes on Main Street will allow further safe and comfortable bicycle access to the combined Reddy Bikeshare and GObike space.”

“Our organizations’ shared space will foster better collaborations, allowing both of our organizations to improve access and reach new audiences throughout the region,” said Justin Booth, executive director for GOBike, “A dedicated educational space will allow expansions in GObike’s programming such as Recycle a Bicycle and adult education to help all road users interact in a safe manner.”

“This evolution of our partnership with GObike means an enhancement of support and encouragement for biking and bikesharing as a form of transportation, recreation and fitness in the city of Buffalo,” said Jennifer White, marketing and communications director for Reddy Bikeshare. “We are also excited to be in close proximity to other partners like University District Community Development Association, and University at Buffalo.”

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Get Connected: Derek King, 716.725.6410, derekking@preservationstudios.com

Written by Mike Puma

Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

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