3 Main Street buildings sold

January 4, 2012 Updated Jan 4, 2012 at 9:23 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

January 4, 2012 Updated Jan 4, 2012 at 9:23 AM EDT

Three Main Street buildings, less than one block apart, have been sold with the respective owners pledging to reinvest in their properties.

In the matter of three days, the former Grever's Florist building at 537 Main St. changed hands and two neighboring structures at 472 Main St, and 283 Pearl St., also sold. Combined the two sales represent nearly $500,000.

"What's interesting is that this is new people with new money investing in downtown Buffalo," said Michael Schmand, Buffalo Place Inc. executive director. "That says something right there."

Paul and Sandra Wilkens of Grand Island, through Wil Partners LLC, paid $250,000 for the former Grever's Florist building, a property that dates back to the early 1900s but has been vacant for the better part of three years. The property had been owned by Queen City Lofts LLC, according to documents filed in the Erie County Clerk's office.

Tentative plans call for a restaurant to go on the main floor of the three-story building and its upper floors renovated for apartments.

Apartments are also proposed for the upper floors of the 472 Main St. and 283 Pearl St. buildings that Downtown Biz LLC bought for $240,000. Downtown Biz LLC acquired the buildings from Naseem Malik.

Two first floor tenants, Downtown Food Mart and Fashion Store, will remain in the respective buildings while the residential units are being considered for the upper floors.

The deal comes as developer Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development Co. has started work on the former Baker Shoes building that neighbor's Downtown Biz's properties. Paladino has renamed the building the Antonio and will be anchoring it by market rate apartments.

"Look up and down Main Street and you are seeing a lot of adaptive re-use projects underway," Schmand said.

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