Seneca One developer in talks with "several" companies as building prepares for first tenants

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jan 17, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The $150 million redevelopment of Seneca One Tower is in high gear as the building gets ready to welcome its first tenants. 43 North is set to move into the tower in early February. M&T Bank, the anchor tenant of Seneca One, is scheduled to follow later in 2020. Meanwhile, the developers reshaping Buffalo's tallest building, expect to add a list of new tenants in the near future.

"Interest in this building has been tremendous," developer Douglas Jemal tells 7 Eyewitness News. Jemal, who purchased Seneca One in late 2016, says Douglas Development continues to be approached by interested companies. "The interactive space is what is attracting everyone to it. It's not just a building that you walk in the front door, press the elevator and go into a cubicle. It's very interactive and it's large enough to do that."

"We are overwhelmed by the response," said Paul Millstein of Douglas Development. "We have had inquiries from some of the best in class tech companies and are in talks with several." Millstein would not share details citing ongoing negotiations. "The challenge is to be patient. We have to put the right pieces in the right places. We can't make mistakes. This building is a lynch pin to the resurgence of downtown. It has to be perfect," added Millstein.

43 North announced it is relocating its headquarters to Seneca One in August. The company is on track to move more than 200 employees into the newly renovated 24th floor of Seneca One in the first week of February.

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M&T Bank announced in June that the company was creating a technology hub at Seneca One and had signed a long-term lease to occupy 11 floors of the building. "M&T Bank's commitment to Buffalo is nothing short of amazing," said developer Douglas Jemal. Construction on the new technology hub, which will occupy floors 13 to 23, is well underway.

Jemal purchased Seneca One in late 2016 for $12.5 million and is now investing $150 million to breathe new life into the building.Phase one of the massive redevelopment project included constructing more than 125 apartments on the lower floors as well as adding new retail space in the plaza around the building. The plan is to add restaurants, bars and retail tenants in the plaza that "fit in with the building." Jemal says he's being very selective about his retail tenants adding "we're more motivated about doing it right, than just putting a tenant in the building."

The apartments are expected to be available this spring. The retail spaces on the lower floors are expected to be occupied and ready to go sometime this summer.