The Hamister Group has officially taken possession of the Tishman Building, a downtown Buffalo landmark.
Hamister, through the Hamister Hospitality Wake LLC affiliate, paid $1.8 million for the 18-story, 180,000-square-foot building that overlooks Lafayette Square. The building had been owned by the Lillian Goldman Family LLC and the Estate of Lillian Goldman, according to documents filed in the Erie County Clerk's office. The Goldman Family is a New York-based investment group that had owned the building since it was constructed in 1958.
The Hamister Group had the building under contract since November 2010 and spent two years working on its due diligence and financing.
Hamister is planning a $40 million face lift of the building that includes bringing a 124-room Hilton Garden Hotel to anchor the project along with 18 upscale, market-rate apartments. The Hamister Group will occupy the top three floors of the building, as it moves its corporate offices from Amherst to downtown Buffalo. The company has approximately 40 people working in its headquarters.
The hotel is expected to create 50 new jobs.
Dan Hamister, company vice president is spearheading the project. He said construction will start by late winter or early spring. The renovation project should be completed by the 2014 third quarter.
"We've got a lot of hard work ahead of us. Right now, we are crossing all our T's and dotting all of our I's," Hamister said. "But, I am very excited for what the end product will look like."
The project is considered a key economic development milestone for downtown Buffalo's central business district, bringing back to life a key building that has sat under-utilized in recent years.
"We are as excited as the rest of the community to watch this redevelopment take place," said Gunner Tronolone, a broker with M.J. Peterson Commercial Real Estate Corp. Tronolone and Dorothy Stahlnecker, also from M.J. Peterson, brokered the deal.
The building design work is being handled by Carmina Wood & Morris P.C.