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A new vision for Shea's Seneca property

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Posted at 9:42 AM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 09:42:48-05

The Shea's Seneca property, with its white terracotta facade and vaulted ceilings, has plans to be restored and developed.

Schneider Development has plans to repair the currently vacant and underutilized historic building. Built in 1929, the theater once held 2,500 seats before being demolished in 1969. The remaining 48,000 square foot commercial building will be restored as part of the $9 million redevelopment.

Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2017 and be completed in Spring-Summer 2018.

"It's a beautiful and historically significant structure across the street from an Olmsted Park," said Jake Schneider, President of Schneider Development. "The building and the neighborhood have great bones and potential."

The space is planned to be remade into 25 apartments, a 130-seat theater and classroom space for local non-profit performance arts organization Second Generation Theatre Company, and banquet and special events space run by William and Molly Koessler. The building is also expected to have some storefront space for neighborhood retail.

"We haven't started marketing it yet, but will be looking to partner with a coffee shop, bakery or other interactive neighborhood retail service providers that bring new amenities into the neighborhood," said Schneider.

Schneider says he his excited about the opportunities the neighborhood holds and how this project will help.

Congressman Brian Higgins also thinks the project is promising for the community. Higgins helped secure federal Historic Tax Credits for this redevelopment.

"The advancement we've seen in the new Buffalo mean nothing if they don't extend into the neighborhoods," said Congressman Higgins. "Schneider Development's vision for Shea's Seneca will be transformative for Seneca Street. This exciting investment in an historic South Buffalo landmark, doesn't just change a building, it has the ability to change the landscape of this community."