Nearly a year after starting its search, the Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found new space downtown. In a surprising move, the Corps is leasing nearly 60,000 square feet of space on the third through fifth floors of the former Hens & Kelly Department Store at 478 Main Street. The Corps will be moving downtown from a government-owned office building at 1776 Niagara Street by November of next year.
The lease changes Ellicott Development’s plans for the building. Ellicott started work on renovations to the building and had been planning two floors of commercial space at 28 upper level apartments. With the Corps lease, apartments will now only occupy the sixth floor and penthouse levels.
The U.S. Social Security Administration signed a lease last year for 15,000 sq.ft. of office space on the second floor. The agency will relocate from 186 Exchange Street this spring.
Carmina Wood Morris, with offices across Main Street from the project, is architect.