One of the Theater District’s most ornate buildings has a new owner. 674 Main St Qualified Opportunity Fund, LLC purchased the Tent City-Washington Surplus Center building at 674 Main Street today for $2 million. Washington Surplus Center Inc. was the seller. Based on records filed with the County Clerk’s office, the buyer appears to be Allied Frozen Storage CEO Drew Blum.
The five-story building has 25,000 sq.ft. of space. In 2001, the previous owner considered putting 12 apartments on the buildings upper floors but did not proceed with the project. The building had been for sale since at least 2017 with a $2.5 million asking price. From the listing:
Part of Buffalo’s Theatre Historic Preservation District One of the oldest structures in the Theater District, the facade is a fine example of Neo-Classical commercial design. It can also be described as Beaux Arts Classicism. It recalls the general appearance of the former Otto-Kent Building) presently Theater Place, and designed by the same architect, Edward Kent.
The building was originally erected c. 1895 as the factory and sales room of A. E. Perron Company, manufacturer of carriages (automobiles), sleighs and harnesses. The Poppenberg Company bought the building c. 1905. The company manufactured pianos, player pianos, bicycles, and carriages (automobiles) in their factory on the northeast corner of Main and Carlton. 674 Main was their showroom. The Wurlitzer Company bought the building in the 1930s for a showroom, offices and studios. For 66 years, it was the major retail outlet in Buffalo for the musical instruments that of the internationally known Wurlitzer Company . In 1977 and currently it became the new location for Tent City- Washington Surplus Center, Buffalo’s original Army/Navy surplus store.