Roxy's Main Street building sold

May 1, 2014 Updated May 1, 2014 at 7:52 AM EDT

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May 1, 2014 Updated May 1, 2014 at 7:52 AM EDT

A first-time developer has acquired a historic Main Street building and hopes to ride the economic development coattails of his immediate neighbors.

Recent University at Buffalo graduate Ron Rubino Jr., through his Gemini Realty LLC, bought the late 1880s-era former Roxy's bar property at 884 Main St. Rubino paid $490,000 for the three-story, 6,800-square-foot building, acquiring it from Bilkin Holdings LLC, according to documents filed in the Erie County Clerk's office.

Roxy's closed last year and the building went on the market with a $500,000 asking price. It was listed with Alan Hastings from Hastings Cohn Real Estate.

Several potential buyers considered acquiring the building, which is located near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus' eastern border.

"It was unbelievable just how much of demand there is for real estate near the campus," Rubino said. "I was surprised."

Rubino plans to renovate the first two floors into office space, with medical campus-related tenants being targeted. The third floor will likely be renovated into one or two loft-style apartments.

The building, which dates back to 1883, has had a number of uses including serving as private residence, a hotel, and more recently, Roxy's.

While Rubino is a first-time developer, his family has deep roots in the local real estate industry. His father, Ron Sr., is an appraiser and partner in GAR Associates in Amherst. Rubino's uncles, John and Joseph, are suburban home builders.

The deal is the first of what Rubino hopes are others he wants to make in Buffalo.

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