Seneca One Tower is 60 days away from being "alive and in action"

Construction work officially resumes on downtown Buffalo adapted reuse project
Posted at 6:13 PM, Jul 08, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — The Buffalo community has been anxiously awaiting the completion of work on the former HSBC Tower that is transforming it into the new "Seneca One Tower" complex. Seneca One Tower will include office space, residential living, and commercial/retail areas.

Redevelopment of the landmark tower in Buffalo is being done by Douglas Jemal and his Douglas Development Corporation based in Washington, DC.

Work that was put on hold for three months during the coronavirus pandemic has now officially resumed. "Everyone is pitching in and glad to be at work. Even I am glad to be here, even though I am wearing a mask," said Douglas Jemal.

Jemal was in Buffalo to give a special inside tour showing progress to Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY). "Coming to a place like this telegraphs to the rest of the world that Buffalo is a world-class city," said Hochul.

Now that work is underway again, Jemal said it won't be much longer until parts of the tower will be open to the public. "We are 60 days away from live and in action," explained Jemal.

M&T Bank is a major tenant in the building and is working with Jemal to create a new Tech Hub for an estimated 1,500 employees. Originally, the Tech Hub was scheduled to open in June or July, but the virus-related delays have pushed the project back until the fall.

M&T Bank Chief Information Officer, Michale Wisler, said employees will probably begin moving into the Tech Hub this October.

Plans for the Tech Hub were created before the pandemic and featured an innovative open-workspace where employees could easily collaborate on projects while having a great view of the city.

Since the virus hit, those plans are being adjusted in regards to employee scheduling, density and capacity to ensure worker safety.

M&T Bank and Douglas Development shared the following information about the current state of work on the Seneca One Tower:

"Startup incubators 43North and Techstars, as well as international business management software company Odoo, have already joined M&T Bank in taking space within Seneca One.

Components of the project currently underway:

  • Exterior Enhancements:
    • A major update to the façade of the building will begin today when Douglas Development begins the application of an epoxy paint system to the building façade, bringing new life and vibrancy to the appearance of the complex. See the attached renderings to get a sense of the transformation that is about to take place.
    • Other exterior projects include the continued installation of perimeter wind breaks, landscaping and concrete work.
  • Tower Floors:
    • M&T’s tech space in the first 10 floors it has leased was nearly complete before construction was paused back in mid-March. That construction is now finishing-up, with furniture and equipment installation similarly advancing.
    • M&T’s space in the tower will be ready for occupancy in the third quarter, though M&T plans to continue to closely monitor the pandemic and work with its executive teams to identify a timeline for a safe opening. The company has informed employees that it will maintain its current status until at least Labor Day, across its locations.
  • Pearl and Plaza Levels:
    • Before construction was paused, work on M&T’s Plaza and Pearl Street levels was in its’ early stages, with work on interior framing, electrical, plumbing and the installation of the HVAC and ductwork having just started.
    • Work has resumed with the first phase of electrical, plumbing and framing, as well as steel work to create a mezzanine on the Plaza level.
  • Residential:
    • In addition to M&T and current Seneca One occupants 43North, Techstars and Odoo, Douglas Development is working to finalize projects to finalize the lobby and other amenities in order to begin welcoming residential tenants.
    • Construction on the building’s 115 apartments is all but complete, with occupants preparing to move-in in August once work on the supporting infrastructure wraps up.
  • Additional Building Updates:
    • Work has also resumed on interior building components in the tower, including the food hall, elevators and escalators."