Douglas Jemal has a full plate of downtown projects but is hungry for more. In the homestretch of redeveloping Seneca One and the former Police Headquarters on Church Street, he is gearing up to restore the remainder of Statler City, reopen the Hyatt, and construct a residential building west of Seneca One. He’s now turning his eye towards the eastern side of downtown by submitting a bid for the Mohawk Ramp and in a surprise, announced he has Simon Electric’s properties along Ellicott Street under contract.
Simon Electrics properties were first put up for sale in 2019. Despite strong interest, Simon never completed a deal. The holdings include seven buildings with 80,500 sq.ft. of space and a total 1.78 acres of property.
Jemal has confirmed to The Buffalo News that he has the properties under contract and expects to complete the deal in June. He also says he will move forward with his plans even if his proposal for the Mohawk Ramp site is rejected in favor of one of the five competing plans.
The City has only released Jemal’s massing diagram showing redevelopment of the ramp site and reuse of Simon’s properties, including preservation of some if not all of the existing buildings and new infill construction up to seven-stories tall. The Simon sites would include a mix of retail, enclosed parking, and 400 new apartments with 10 percent dedicated to affordable housing.
A game changer for sure.