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One Seneca Tower lights up downtown Buffalo

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 18:39:24-05

All 38 floors of the One Seneca Tower were shining bright on Monday night, as the skyscraper's owners were taking photos and video of the building.

Douglas Development Corporation bought the tower for $12 million last August and the company plans to transform it into a mixed-use facility with office space, apartments, shopping and a hotel.

Jim Fink has been closely following the skyscraper's saga for Buffalo Business First.  He said there's been false promises before, but is encouraged by this company's plans.

"Unfortunately in Buffalo, we've seen developers come in with grandiose plans that had not a lot of financial power behind them," Fink said.  "This is the other side of that coin."

Fink says Douglas Development has the financial wherewithal to make its plans a reality, but more importantly understands a building of this size can't be turned around overnight.

"It's going to happen gradually," he said.  "You're not going to flip the switch--you can't in this market and quite frankly in any other market.  You can't flip the switch and fill up almost 1.2 million square feet instantly.  It just doesn't happen."

Regardless of any time frame, people in Buffalo were excited to see the building lit up in its former glory.

"I actually saw it first thing this morning when I got into work," said Connor O'Mara.  "I said to my boss 'look at that! The Seneca Tower looks lit up today.'"

O'Mara said all this has him excited about the future of the tallest building in the city.

"For years the blinds have been shut and lights have been off," he said.  "It's great to see some life come back to that building."