New wave of residents moving into downtown

August 8, 2014 Updated Aug 8, 2014 at 8:46 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First

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New wave of residents moving into downtown

August 8, 2014 Updated Aug 8, 2014 at 8:46 AM EDT

In the last few days, the first apartment dwellers in the 10 Lafayette Building - the former Tishman Building - have started moving into the historic structure that overlooks Lafayette Square.

The Hamister Group is investing $42 million to reconfigure the 20-story building that will be anchored by a 124-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

Hamister took a portion of several floors and renovated that space into 18 market-rate apartments. Thus far, 11 of the 18 units have been leased and the first tenants began moving into the building last weekend.

The Hamister Group, in late July, moved its corporate offices from Amherst to the building's top two floors.

The hotel is due to open this fall.

In the meantime, the TM Montante Development Group expects to welcome its first apartment tenants in the former Spaghetti Warehouse building on Elm Street in the next few weeks. Montante invested $8.1 million renovating the late 1800s-era building into a mixed-use developed anchored by 20 market-rate apartments and 10,000-square-feet of office space. C&S Cos. is occupying 6,500-square-feet of the commercial space.

C&S moved into the now-dubbed E.M Hager & Sons Planing Mill building this past spring.

"We've already had a number of young professionals express interest and sign leases for the apartments," said Christian Campos,TM Montante chief financial officer.

Both buildings are part of a new wave of downtown residential developments that has been taking hold in recent years. It also part of a drive by Mayor Byron Brown to see 1,300 new downtown residences - apartments and condos - developed and occupied by 2018. Both buildings were largely vacant before being acquired and renovated.

Residential development was also a key element in the Queen City Hub blueprint crafted by Buffalo Place Inc., the University at Buffalo, and then-Mayor Anthony Masiello. The Queen City Hub was created to bring more workers, residents and visitors into the central business district.

After years of planning, that vision is now becoming a development reality.

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