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Thread: One Seneca Tower goes up for auction at 3 p.m.

  1. #1
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    One Seneca Tower goes up for auction at 3 p.m.

    One Seneca Tower goes up for auction at 3 p.m.

    The bidding at Thursday’s 3 p.m. foreclosure auction for Buffalo’s tallest office building could be a quick, non-event.The mortgage holder, LNR Partners, is widely expected to win the auction because it is owed $91 million for the 850,000-square-foot building – which is 95 percent empty – and is now worth less than $20 million, according to recent appraisals.
    http://www.buffalonews.com/business/...-3-pm-20151001


    I wonder what the final price will be.


    This comment was interesting.

    alan long an hour ago
    Multi-purpose building is the only possible chance for this to survive, and even then is questionable.
    First few floors (where building spans out towards street) = Department Stores, a grocery store (where your purchases go down a conveyor to the parking garage below - seen it in Florida), shops, a brewery, restaurants, bowling alley, fitness center. (People living downtown need something).
    Top 2 floors = visitor experience center. add glass floor panels that expand out over the building like the Sears tower in Chicago (I know not nearly as tall), a mid level restaurant and bar with great views, historical pictures/info describing the city as you walk around.
    other 30 or so floors = Condos (10 floors), apartments (8 floors), Offices (6 floors), and the remaining floors TBD by people far more intelligent than me.





  2. #2
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    One Seneca Tower sold to mortgage holder for $28 million

    One Seneca Tower has been sold, for $28 million, to the firm that held its mortgage.

    The mortgage holder, LNR Partners, started off the bidding for the property at $6 million.

    About 75 people were present in the tower’s auditorium for the auction.

    The lender was widely expected to win the auction, because it is owed $91 million for the 850,000-square-foot building – which is 95 percent empty – and is now w
    http://www.buffalonews.com/business/...llion-20151001

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    One Seneca Tower developer: 'It's going to evolve'

    Washington developer Douglas Jemal is pursuing tenants for One Seneca Tower that would create "hip places" he hopes would be a draw for downtown, but has no signed leases or firm commitments in place.

    Jemal on Wednesday expressed high hopes and confidence about restoring vibrancy to the 38-story office building and the area around it, without harming other buildings as some rival landlords and developers have feared.

    "Creativity is what I do. Designing is what I do. I want to make sure I do it right," Jemal said. "I'm not looking to go in there and beat up the office market because I bought it so cheap. I'm looking to make a flagship location for the whole downtown. I want the water to rise for all of Buffalo."
    http://buffalonews.com/2017/08/02/do...ime=1501697312

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    We discover today that his grand plan for the concourse is already being downsized while still on the drawing board. The reality of western New York's decay must be finally setting in. Probably a shock to someone from an area where redevelopment takes place almost overnight as an almost organic process.

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    I went to the hockey game Saturday afternoon. I passed by One Empty Tower and I have to say I was impressed with progress being made on the rehabilitation, reuse, reimagining. It ought to be really something when somebody actually does some work on it...whenever the hell that is!!

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    It's a big empty building. When the area allows for so much sprawl you are going to have population shifts. You look at businesses that left the city to operate in buildings in the surrounding burbs. That is a shift of people including removing the revenue those workers would have created in the city of Buffalo. IE: shopping right after work and going to lunch etc.

    Another reason IDA's should not be allowed. We don't need lawyers/IDA's laughing all the way to the bank for each "deal" they create.

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    IDA’s didn’t destroy the city of Buffalo. NFTA, EPA and Judge Curtin did that. Buffalo could’ve formed it’s own IDA had it wanted one and had it acted in time. Had Buffalo created an IDA it wouldn’t be able to organize a bake sale without paying a bundle in graft just like every development effort in the last 40 years.

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Is the partnership still around? That was like the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce?

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    It still exists. No one can name anything it does or any of its accomplishments.

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    Member leftWNYbecauseofBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    It's a big empty building. When the area allows for so much sprawl you are going to have population shifts. You look at businesses that left the city to operate in buildings in the surrounding burbs. That is a shift of people including removing the revenue those workers would have created in the city of Buffalo. IE: shopping right after work and going to lunch etc.

    Another reason IDA's should not be allowed. We don't need lawyers/IDA's laughing all the way to the bank for each "deal" they create.
    Sprawl has nothing to do with why this tower is still empty. This tower is empty because WNY is home to a fraction of 'office employees' to what it had 40 years ago. The IDAs are not the problem either. Yes, the rob Peter to pay Paul but that's just survival. Both concepts of 'sprawl' and 'IDAs' have one commonality in that they take the focus off the real causes of the issues and instead have people focus on local issues to blame.


    The reasons why this building is empty is mostly to do with the fact it's not desirable to have an office of people working in a tower in Buffalo compared to other places unless you need to.

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    I look at it as if cheap farmland wasn't using to make IDA subsidized office space/office parks you wouldn't have who is left in the area working away from the city. I'm ok with people doing anything they want but to keep the playing field level IDA's need to be eliminated.

    Totally under stand the way businesses operate is different than 30 years ago.

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    Member leftWNYbecauseofBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    I look at it as if cheap farmland wasn't using to make IDA subsidized office space/office parks you wouldn't have who is left in the area working away from the city. I'm ok with people doing anything they want but to keep the playing field level IDA's need to be eliminated.

    Totally under stand the way businesses operate is different than 30 years ago.
    If the office parks in Amherst or Lancaster were blocked...companies would have just moved elsewhere to regions where they were not. At least the companies that are not directly tied to the region (e.g. National Fuel).

    The reason I think the 'sprawl argument' is not valid in WNY is that other productive cities in the US offer both urban and suburban locations. The differences are that 1) they actually have companies moving to the area and 2) they have a desirable urban location.

    For example, AXA opened an office in Charlotte with 500 employees or so. These were mostly lower-tier jobs. So they took office space in the Charlotte equivalent of Amherst. They are now looking to double down in Charlotte with another 500 jobs, but these will be for information technology, finance, legal. These jobs demand a better location, so they are looking at taking up space in a tower and bringing all 1,000 to a single campus.

    The problem with WNY is that the City of Buffalo stumbled for 40 years. What Amherst did with their IDA is similar to what happens all over the US. The difference is other regions were not anchored by a dumpster fire.

    It can be fixed and it's getting better. The problem is it's just starting and has a long way to go. NYC and Albany are not helping either.

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    Leftie, you and I have had aspects of this discussion on many threads. It’s only getting better if by that you mean that a skeleton is getting better because most of the flesh has finally decayed almost completely and it no longer smells so bad. The troubling part and the thing that will always and forever hold this area down is that the Amherst IDA and the few other successful entities are pretty much universally seen as a problem instead of a model for a solution. Western New York was circling the bowl long before Albany corruption became a daily whipping boy on the local news. In fact, local news harping on Albany helpfully serves the purposes of the local crooks by deflecting attention and blame away from things like a city council that allows any member to hold up a project in his district until suitable tribute is paid, local officials whose solution to every problem is to mulct the taxpayers for ever more money and all the rest.

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    Member leftWNYbecauseofBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grump View Post
    Leftie, you and I have had aspects of this discussion on many threads. It’s only getting better if by that you mean that a skeleton is getting better because most of the flesh has finally decayed almost completely and it no longer smells so bad. The troubling part and the thing that will always and forever hold this area down is that the Amherst IDA and the few other successful entities are pretty much universally seen as a problem instead of a model for a solution. Western New York was circling the bowl long before Albany corruption became a daily whipping boy on the local news. In fact, local news harping on Albany helpfully serves the purposes of the local crooks by deflecting attention and blame away from things like a city council that allows any member to hold up a project in his district until suitable tribute is paid, local officials whose solution to every problem is to mulct the taxpayers for ever more money and all the rest.
    It gets better with the continued shrinking of the public sector and higher tiers in union contracts. You and I won't likely see it but it will happen...I think.

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    Leftie, the new tiers will help in the long run assuming that the state legislature doesn’t buy off the unions by sweetening the existing tiers. They did that in 2000, sweetening Tier 4 by eliminating employee contributions after 10 years membership and then, of course, they had to do something equally nice for Tier 2 so they gave them 2 years service credit for time they didn’t work. There’s nothing to prevent them from doing something similar for Tiers 5&6 in 2020. They can enhance the Tiers anytime they want to but they can’t reduce them once adopted.

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