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Thread: What would you do with the One Seneca Tower

  1. #16
    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    Affordable Housing doesn't make any sense here. They need to make money on this place so if there's any residential it should be extreme-luxury condos. If they go that route they could follow a similar plan that Avant did: Some Residential; Some Hotel; some Office; some Retail.

    Starting from the top: Take the highest 2 floors and make it banquet space and public restaurant again. The next 10 floors down could be luxury condos... 4 to 6 huge apartments per floor possibly selling for ~ 1 million each. The next 10 floors below that could be hotel rooms. The 14 floors below that would remain office space (upgraded to prime class-A space). Then the 2 floors on the ground would be lobby space with a restaurant and some retail. The outer walls of the plaza could be opened up as street retail shops facing Main St and Canalside. This would make the building part of all the new developments nearby. Another possibility is relocating the Seneca St metro stop to the base of the tower and include a modern metro station in the design. The first-floor retail could be integrated into the metro station. Imagine having the train stop right at the ground floor of your apartment/office/hotel-room... pretty cool.

  2. #17
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Do you think you could get enough people to rent it out? If you all haven't noticed the population hasn't been increasing in Erie County. IF you fill it will businesses/people already establish here you are only emptying other buildings in our community. What do you do with that vacant space?

  3. #18
    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    If true Class A office space is as limited as people say, then I'm sure some local company would relocate there after it's been upgraded. If that ends up emptying out someone else's building - it's a problem, but it's not Seneca One's problem.

    (And everyone that supported tax breaks for Delaware North to move around the block certainly wouldn't mind some tax breaks for someone to move here too. [sarcastic smiley])

    Some local companies are growing. Look at First Niagara and M&T. There is a need for office space.

  4. #19
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    If true Class A office space is as limited as people say, then I'm sure some local company would relocate there after it's been upgraded. If that ends up emptying out someone else's building - it's a problem, but it's not Seneca One's problem.
    Not one penny of tax payers money or "incentives" should go to help because "it's not the net tax payers problem".

  5. #20
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    It's a dinosaur, implode it and build a modern structure

  6. #21
    Member leftWNYbecauseofBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 300miles View Post
    If true Class A office space is as limited as people say, then I'm sure some local company would relocate there after it's been upgraded. If that ends up emptying out someone else's building - it's a problem, but it's not Seneca One's problem.

    (And everyone that supported tax breaks for Delaware North to move around the block certainly wouldn't mind some tax breaks for someone to move here too. [sarcastic smiley])

    Some local companies are growing. Look at First Niagara and M&T. There is a need for office space.

    Everything that I have had read says Class A space in the COB is in excess. Where are you hearing it's limited? Not only is this tower going dark but with DN moving, I read that the South tower in the Key Center is going dark as well.

    As for the tax breaks, are you suggesting that there should be resources made available to just the companies who might expand or consolidate in the tower or to the developers who made a bad real estate bet? Pretty big difference there in my opinion.

    As for the banks, I really don't think either FNG or M&T would move to either One Seneca Center or Key Center for some pretty obvious branding issues.

  7. #22
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    Everything that I have had read says Class A space in the COB is in excess. Where are you hearing it's limited? Not only is this tower going dark but with DN moving, I read that the South tower in the Key Center is going dark as well.

    As for the tax breaks, are you suggesting that there should be resources made available to just the companies who might expand or consolidate in the tower or to the developers who made a bad real estate bet? Pretty big difference there in my opinion.

    As for the banks, I really don't think either FNG or M&T would move to either One Seneca Center or Key Center for some pretty obvious branding issues.

    Not one penny of tax payers money or "incentives" should go to help because "it's not the net tax payers problem".

  8. #23
    Member leftWNYbecauseofBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    Not one penny of tax payers money or "incentives" should go to help because "it's not the net tax payers problem".

    So you're saying that if a company in the region wanted to consolidate offices in the tower, and by doing so, spent a lot of money refurbishing the space and purchase new materials for the office...they should not be entitled to any form of tax relief?

  9. #24
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    So you're saying that if a company in the region wanted to consolidate offices in the tower, and by doing so, spent a lot of money refurbishing the space and purchase new materials for the office...they should not be entitled to any form of tax relief?

    Why?

    Think about it.

    What if that company competes with other local companies? Will they got some incentives besides the company relocating? Why should any of their tax money go to a company who competes against them? Why should those competing companies pay the full shot while the company relocating receives a discount? That is not a level playing field.

    What about the property owners who may be renting to those companies that would relocate. They will end up with vacant buildings because of the incentives. That isn't a net gain except for the IDA's that skim their salaries by doing the paper work for the incentives.

    We all get tax relief or no one does. All we are doing as a community is enabling what the controlling political parties do.

    Only instance I could see some tax relief only on the ONE SHOT items is if a company relocates from out of state to Buffalo. They still pay their full share of what ever the property taxes are on the property. I could see mortgage taxes and sales taxes waved away because those would have never happened in the first place. But then again I wouldn't give any breaks if the company would complete with pre existing businesses already located here.

    Let the people who hold the paper on the building lose out at it should be. They will think twice next business deal they do.

  10. #25
    Member leftWNYbecauseofBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    What if that company competes with other local companies? Will they got some incentives besides the company relocating? Why should any of their tax money go to a company who competes against them? Why should those competing companies pay the full shot while the company relocating receives a discount? That is not a level playing field.
    You're right. It's not level. One company is expanding, which adds a mix of jobs and taxable items, and the other is not. I have zero issue with tax breaks on items that help grow the region. The differences between a handout and a tax break are massive and should be a separate thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    What about the property owners who may be renting to those companies that would relocate. They will end up with vacant buildings because of the incentives. That isn't a net gain except for the IDA's that skim their salaries by doing the paper work for the incentives.
    This is a good question. I'll just add some thoughs

    • That's real estate. How many property owners sell their home for a profit or charge more in rent simply because the desirability of their location has improved. It's all a part of the game.
    • If a property owner is in a hot market, does he keep his rates the same? No. He would increase his rent because he can.
    • I am more focused on the company than the property owner. It's not the responsibility of the renter to ensure a owner has his property filled. Going further, if a company leaves, I think the property owner should be allowed access to tax breaks if he wants to invest in his space to make it more desirable.
    • What about the property owners who purposely keep units empty so they can play with the numbers and write off the expense as a tax deduction?
    • The 'NET GAIN' is that through tax breaks things are added to the economy.
    • Realize you're in WNY and a zero tolerance stance is just as bad as a tax to death stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    We all get tax relief or no one does. All we are doing as a community is enabling what the controlling political parties do.
    Everyone has the right to tax relief but some are more willing to do what's necessary to get it. You complain about the taxes in Cheektowaga but still live there. You should move, just like a company would.
    The political parties control because they are empowered by the voters. If you don't like the amount of say you have...move.

    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    Only instance I could see some tax relief only on the ONE SHOT items is if a company relocates from out of state to Buffalo. They still pay their full share of what ever the property taxes are on the property. I could see mortgage taxes and sales taxes waved away because those would have never happened in the first place. But then again I wouldn't give any breaks if the company would complete with pre existing businesses already located here.

    Let the people who hold the paper on the building lose out at it should be. They will think twice next business deal they do.
    The problem with this is it does NOTHING to keep companies from staying in the region. In case you missed it...that's a bit of a challenge the last 50 years or so.

    What you also fail to grasp is companies provide jobs. A homeowner does not. Take on the risk if you want the rewards.

  11. #26
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    WNYresident View Post
    What about the property owners who may be renting to those companies that would relocate. They will end up with vacant buildings because of the incentives. That isn't a net gain except for the IDA's that skim their salaries by doing the paper work for the incentives.

    This is a good question. I'll just add some thoughs

    That's real estate. How many property owners sell their home for a profit or charge more in rent simply because the desirability of their location has improved. It's all a part of the game.
    If a property owner is in a hot market, does he keep his rates the same? No. He would increase his rent because he can.
    I am more focused on the company than the property owner. It's not the responsibility of the renter to ensure a owner has his property filled. Going further, if a company leaves, I think the property owner should be allowed access to tax breaks if he wants to invest in his space to make it more desirable.
    What about the property owners who purposely keep units empty so they can play with the numbers and write off the expense as a tax deduction?
    The 'NET GAIN' is that through tax breaks things are added to the economy.
    Realize you're in WNY and a zero tolerance stance is just as bad as a tax to death stance.
    But those home owners are not given tax incentives or grants on their property.

    It isn't the responsibility of other property owners (net tax payers)to ensure that someone else's property is filled. You know what Buffalo was great? When people were allowed to fail. They would lose their shorts and another person in Buffalo would buy what was left over. No incentives, no grants, no nothing. Then you would see the true value of what property is.

    I have no issue with someone saving on the sales tax to remodel their home or property. BUT everyone receives that not a select few. Even if it means the guy who is updating his bathroom in his home or the business owner updating their storefront.

    If those property owners are paying the full shot of property taxes that they should they can do anything they want with their property. Once again if these loop holes weren't allowed you would see what the true value of the property is.

    What net gain? One person's gain is another person's loss. One business's gain is another business's loss unless they are exporting something out of state. We have not had population growth in Erie County for years. If you noticed we do have some population churn. Replacing net income earners with people who are on the dole is not progress or economic gain.

    I know I'm in WNY. Buffalo used to be an economic power house. If you look back though time you can see the damage political parties have caused in our community. In my opinion the party that has cause the most damage locally is the www.ecdems.com.

    Their policies have hurt business growth and increased the cost of doing business in our state. People are not leaving because of floods, earthquakes, locust or animal stampedes. They are leaving because they need jobs and businesses leave because there are other states that are far less costly to operate.

    Lastly. It is not the net tax payers responsibility to pay for "government inc" incompetence.

  12. #27
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Originally Posted by WNYresident

    We all get tax relief or no one does. All we are doing as a community is enabling what the controlling political parties do.
    Everyone has the right to tax relief but some are more willing to do what's necessary to get it. You complain about the taxes in Cheektowaga but still live there. You should move, just like a company would.
    The political parties control because they are empowered by the voters. If you don't like the amount of say you have...move.
    Working on it. I don't see enough value received for what we pay in property taxes to live in Cheektowaga. I'll make up my mind once we see how the new makeup of our town board operates. I have ask Vicki about moving back into the City solely based on property taxes. We could move farther out but if you have noticed I'm more of a Buffalo supporter.

    First step 2014, no political party officer will work for our town. Period. I beleive Angela did write a resolution to be voted on this topic but neither our businessmen seconded it. I was told even if they did second it there wasn't enough votes to pass it. Now we have Angela, Charley, Diane and Jerry on our town board. That is 4 votes. I guess it is time to see who gives lip service or not.

  13. #28
    Member 300miles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    Everything that I have had read says Class A space in the COB is in excess. Where are you hearing it's limited? Not only is this tower going dark but with DN moving, I read that the South tower in the Key Center is going dark as well.
    From what I've seen, some large companies in Buffalo's Class-A office space are keen to jump ship for a brand new building that has better amenities...suggesting that not all Class-A space is created equal... or that Class-A circa 1990 or 1970 is not on par with Class-A from 2012, at least not without major improvements to update them first.

    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    As for the tax breaks, are you suggesting that there should be resources made available to just the companies who might expand or consolidate in the tower or to the developers who made a bad real estate bet? Pretty big difference there in my opinion.
    I suggested neither. Seneca One needs to deal with their own investment decisions. And incentives for other companies to expand into the tower would need to consider whether the incentive has a good return on it, in the form of real growth to our economy (instead of someone playing musical chairs, just to leave their previous location empty.)

    Quote Originally Posted by leftWNYbecauseofBS View Post
    As for the banks, I really don't think either FNG or M&T would move to either One Seneca Center or Key Center for some pretty obvious branding issues.
    That's a good point regarding other local banks and you might be right. Although there are examples where it's been done... like the RenCen in Detroit which was largely funded by Ford family and was used for Ford office space for years, before GM bought it and turned it into their world headquarters. But I doubt any of our local banks would jump at the HSBC tower unless it was totally renovated into a completely different and more modern building. (by comparison, the RenCen still looks very modern today even though it was built in the 70's)

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    But those home owners are not given tax incentives or grants on their property.
    There was a proposal a couple of years ago to give property tax breaks on improvements that increased the property values of homes, but Chris Collins opposed it when he was County Executive.

  15. #30
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Chris isn't perfect. I wouldn't give people property tax breaks for improvements. I said I wouldn't mind if one shot type taxes were waved away. Why? Because those wouldn't have happened anyways without the improvements. Like sales tax on items used in the improvements etc.

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