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  #1021  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Medical campus, UB win bidding for downtown Trico, M. Wile sites
By Sharon Linstedt NEWS BUSINESS REPORTER
Updated: 09/21/07 6:56 AM

Two former manufacturing plants in downtown Buffalo have bright futures courtesy of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the University at Buffalo.

With a high bid of $20.09 million in an Erie, Pa., federal bankruptcy court, the medical campus gained control Thursday of the idle Trico windshield wiper plant on Ellicott Street north of Goodell Street and the former M. Wile apparel manufacturing site on Ellicott south of Goodell.



The medical campus will redevelop the Trico site for medical research purposes. UB will take ownership of the M. Wile building as part of its mission to increase its presence in downtown Buffalo. It will house such entities as UB’s Regional Institute.

“The acquisition provides space for the [medical campus] to continue growing the life sciences economy in downtown Buffalo,” said Matthew K. Enstice, medical campus executive director. “The [campus] is committed to cultivating a world-class medical campus for clinical care, research, education and entrepreneurship.”

UB President John B. Simpson said buying the M. Wile building underscores the school’s commitment to increasing its presence downtown.

“The purchase of an existing, recently renovated structure allows the university to immediately expand UB’s presence in downtown Buffalo and enables it to bring several of its major public service programs into closer proximity to the citizens and organizations they serve,” Simpson said.

He also noted the purchase “synchronizes perfectly” with UB’s master plan to grow by 40 percent by 2020, with expansions in Amherst, University Heights and downtown.

The high-profile properties were auctioned off Thursday to settle the estate of Stephen B. McGarvey and his Century Centre LP. McGarvey, who died in 2005, burst onto the Buffalo development scene in 1999.

McGarvey bought the dormant Trico plant, planning to convert it to luxury apartments and upscale offices. But health and financial

problems prevented him from getting the project off the ground. He had more success with M. Wile, converting the plant to offices and leasing much of the space.

A mountain of debts, liens, judgments and unpaid taxes totaling more than $23 million stood in the way of a conventional property sale, leading his estate to file for Chapter 11 reorganization and the auction of the properties.

“It was Steve’s foresight in the value of these properties that came to fruition today,” said Guy Fustine, an attorney who represented McGarvey interests.

Fustine called the bidding “dynamic” and said the $20.09 million sale price exceeded his expectations.

“For me personally, I had a $16 million target, and I assumed we’d push up to that, but when the bidding continued, I thought Steve would really be pleased,” Fustine added.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus set the stage for the public institution double-play when, before the auction, it offered $13.75 million for both of the properties. Two private companies — Krog Corp., an Orchard Park development firm, and Pyramid Brokerage of Buffalo — competed with the medical campus in more than two hours of spirited bidding in the Erie courtroom.

The three bidders countered each other with more than 50 separate verbal offers. The winning bid comes to $12.4 million for the Trico complex and $8.05 million for M. Wile.

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown hailed the sale of the structures, saying it opens the door to expansion of the university and the medical campus, while benefiting the city’s economic growth goals.

The mayor said it demonstrates UB “is very serious about investing in Buffalo.” He also noted that his administration has been working closely with the medical campus partners to “enhance and strengthen our ongoing efforts to attract and foster incubators and start-up businesses.”

The sprawling Trico property includes four-story and sixstory buildings with more than 700,000 square feet of space. The larger structure, which has significant roof damage, is empty, while the smaller building has two tenants. The property also includes a 5.3-acre parking lot.

Two tenants occupy 70 percent of the 145,000-square-foot M. Wile building, which also has a parking lot.

The medical campus and UB said they will honor the tenants’ leases.
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  #1022  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Seneca Nation considering a luxury hotel at Buffalo casino
Plan would double cost of complex to more than $275 million
By Sharon LinstedtNEWS BUSINESS REPORTER
Updated: 09/21/07 8:43 AM

The Seneca Nation of Indians is weighing an expanded Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino that would include a luxury hotel — boosting the price tag for the permanent gambling complex to more than $275 million.

A 200-plus-room luxury hotel has been added to the development, more than doubling the $125 million price tag announced in 2006, according to sources familiar with modifications in the Cobblestone District project.

The popularity of on-site hotels at the nation’s Seneca Niagara and Seneca Allegany casinos — with occupancy rates exceeding 90 percent — led to the addition of a hotel in the initial phase of the Buffalo casino, sources said.

The enhanced casino/hotel plan is expected to receive final approval from the Seneca Tribal Council in the next few weeks. Preliminary site work for the massive project could begin this fall.

Seneca Gaming Corp. spokesman Philip J. Pantano declined to discuss any changes in plans for the Buffalo casino.

“The final plans for the permanent Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino have not been fully completed or approved at this time,” Pantano said.

In June 2006, the Senecas unveiled designs for a gambling campus featuring a three-story casino, with room for 2,200 slot machines, 50 gambling tables and several restaurants, plus a five-story parking garage. While the Senecas indicated they would leave enough room on the site for a 17-story hotel, lodging was not part of the initial development.

Pantano did confirm there could be activity to prepare foundations on the site — which is bounded by Michigan and South Park avenues, Marvin and Perry streets — before the end of the year.

“Depending on our internal review and approvals, we would still like to get the preliminary digging done before winter,” Pantano said.

The gaming corporation spokesman said an anti-casino lawsuit filed by Citizens for a Better Buffalo does not stand in the way of construction of a permanent casino on the nine-acre Buffalo site.

“Since neither the gaming corporation, nor the nation, are parties to the legal action, we cannot base our schedules and our decisions on matters we don’t control,” Pantano said. “Just as we built and opened our temporary facility, we will continue to focus on getting the permanent facility designed and built.”

Joseph M. Finnerty, who this week announced he’ll be stepping aside as lead attorney for the anti-casino suit to focus on First Amendment legal work, predicted the casino court battle will go for “many, many years.”

While there’s nothing stopping the Senecas from moving ahead on a permanent casino, it’s a poor investment for them, said Dianne Bennett, who is part of the Citizens for a Better Buffalo lawsuit.

“Sure, they can move forward, but they are on notice that a case is pending and we expect to win it,” Bennett said. “They can start building, but they’ll never open the doors.”

Ongoing litigation notwithstanding, the Senecas opened a 5,000-square-foot temporary casino on the site July 3. While opponents were displeased, there was no effort to obtain a court-ordered shutdown.

Through the end of August, the relatively tiny “slots-only” casino attracted 89,176 patrons. Demand has been so strong that its hours of operation were expanded in late August. The casino is now open from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily, adding four hours a day to its original 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. schedule.

The Senecas also have reconfigured space inside the temporary gambling hall to boost the slot machine count from 119 to 135.

“It’s extremely telling that a small temporary casino has shown such drawing power,” Pantano said. “With the start of the hockey season, we expect to see even more traffic, and we believe this signals that the people of Buffalo and Western New York want this project to happen.”

The hotel business has proven to be a perfect complement to Seneca gambling operations, with occupancy exceeding 90 percent most nights at both the Niagara Falls and Salamanca casinos.

In August, Seneca Gaming Chairman Barry E. Snyder Sr. confirmed plans to spend $130 million on a second hotel tower at Seneca Allegany. That 200- room tower is under design and is expected to join the existing 11-story, 212-room hotel complex in mid-2009.

Earlier this month, the AAA awarded its prestigious “Four Diamond” designation to the Seneca Niagara Hotel, which has 604 rooms and stands 26 stories tall. The Niagara Falls hotel and The Mansion on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo are the only Buffalo-area facilities with the designation, which the travel association confers to less than 4 percent of the properties it rates.
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  #1023  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 4:21 PM
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^^^Some good news rolling in. It's hard not to get excited with UB starting to get involved downtown.
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  #1024  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 5:27 PM
BUFFALOVE!! BUFFALOVE!! is offline
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at first i hated the casino untill i went to the seneca niagara casino in ontario. wow over half the people there were american. if they are going to spend their money at the casino anyway why not spend it in buffalo.
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  #1025  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2007, 8:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUFFALOVE!! View Post
at first i hated the casino untill i went to the seneca niagara casino in ontario. wow over half the people there were american. if they are going to spend their money at the casino anyway why not spend it in buffalo.
When did you go? Not long ago American gamblers went to Canada in order to exploit the exchange rate. Thanks to Bush that has changed. That said would you really want a Casino in Buffalo, making it that much more convient for those recieving welfare to squander their checks?
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  #1026  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rue B View Post
Seneca Nation considering a luxury hotel at Buffalo casino
Plan would double cost of complex to more than $275 million
By Sharon LinstedtNEWS BUSINESS REPORTER
Updated: 09/21/07 8:43 AM

The Seneca Nation of Indians is weighing an expanded Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino that would include a luxury hotel — boosting the price tag for the permanent gambling complex to more than $275 million.

A 200-plus-room luxury hotel has been added to the development, more than doubling the $125 million price tag announced in 2006, according to sources familiar with modifications in the Cobblestone District project.

The popularity of on-site hotels at the nation’s Seneca Niagara and Seneca Allegany casinos — with occupancy rates exceeding 90 percent — led to the addition of a hotel in the initial phase of the Buffalo casino, sources said.

The enhanced casino/hotel plan is expected to receive final approval from the Seneca Tribal Council in the next few weeks. Preliminary site work for the massive project could begin this fall.

Seneca Gaming Corp. spokesman Philip J. Pantano declined to discuss any changes in plans for the Buffalo casino.

“The final plans for the permanent Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino have not been fully completed or approved at this time,” Pantano said.

In June 2006, the Senecas unveiled designs for a gambling campus featuring a three-story casino, with room for 2,200 slot machines, 50 gambling tables and several restaurants, plus a five-story parking garage. While the Senecas indicated they would leave enough room on the site for a 17-story hotel, lodging was not part of the initial development.

Pantano did confirm there could be activity to prepare foundations on the site — which is bounded by Michigan and South Park avenues, Marvin and Perry streets — before the end of the year.

“Depending on our internal review and approvals, we would still like to get the preliminary digging done before winter,” Pantano said.

The gaming corporation spokesman said an anti-casino lawsuit filed by Citizens for a Better Buffalo does not stand in the way of construction of a permanent casino on the nine-acre Buffalo site.

“Since neither the gaming corporation, nor the nation, are parties to the legal action, we cannot base our schedules and our decisions on matters we don’t control,” Pantano said. “Just as we built and opened our temporary facility, we will continue to focus on getting the permanent facility designed and built.”

Joseph M. Finnerty, who this week announced he’ll be stepping aside as lead attorney for the anti-casino suit to focus on First Amendment legal work, predicted the casino court battle will go for “many, many years.”

While there’s nothing stopping the Senecas from moving ahead on a permanent casino, it’s a poor investment for them, said Dianne Bennett, who is part of the Citizens for a Better Buffalo lawsuit.

“Sure, they can move forward, but they are on notice that a case is pending and we expect to win it,” Bennett said. “They can start building, but they’ll never open the doors.”

Ongoing litigation notwithstanding, the Senecas opened a 5,000-square-foot temporary casino on the site July 3. While opponents were displeased, there was no effort to obtain a court-ordered shutdown.

Through the end of August, the relatively tiny “slots-only” casino attracted 89,176 patrons. Demand has been so strong that its hours of operation were expanded in late August. The casino is now open from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily, adding four hours a day to its original 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. schedule.

The Senecas also have reconfigured space inside the temporary gambling hall to boost the slot machine count from 119 to 135.

“It’s extremely telling that a small temporary casino has shown such drawing power,” Pantano said. “With the start of the hockey season, we expect to see even more traffic, and we believe this signals that the people of Buffalo and Western New York want this project to happen.”

The hotel business has proven to be a perfect complement to Seneca gambling operations, with occupancy exceeding 90 percent most nights at both the Niagara Falls and Salamanca casinos.

In August, Seneca Gaming Chairman Barry E. Snyder Sr. confirmed plans to spend $130 million on a second hotel tower at Seneca Allegany. That 200- room tower is under design and is expected to join the existing 11-story, 212-room hotel complex in mid-2009.

Earlier this month, the AAA awarded its prestigious “Four Diamond” designation to the Seneca Niagara Hotel, which has 604 rooms and stands 26 stories tall. The Niagara Falls hotel and The Mansion on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo are the only Buffalo-area facilities with the designation, which the travel association confers to less than 4 percent of the properties it rates.
200 rooms don't = 17 stories, 200 rooms = 10 or 11 floors
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  #1027  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2007, 1:47 PM
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Two vacant parcels in Waterfront Village have been opened up for proposals by the City. One right next to Shanghai Reds that can't have residential due to convenants and the other between Portside and Marina Park. The Portside site had a proposal (low-density) shot down by neighbors. They wanted the lot turned into a park.

It'll be interesting to see what comes in- proposals are due 11/9. With Waterfront Place sales going well at high prices, there should be some competition for at least the Portside site. Stay away NIMBYs.


http://buffalorising.com/story/filli...nt_village#sca
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  #1028  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2007, 4:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FireMedic View Post
200 rooms don't = 17 stories, 200 rooms = 10 or 11 floors
Even at 10 or 11 stories high, Wouldn't that be the tallest building
built in downtown Buffalo since 1970 ?
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  #1029  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2007, 4:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMedic View Post
200 rooms don't = 17 stories, 200 rooms = 10 or 11 floors
Even at 10 or 11 stories high, Wouldn't that still be the tallest building
built in downtown Buffalo since 1970 ?
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  #1030  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2007, 5:15 PM
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^^ No d-bag the key towers and i think the niagara center and waterfront tower are taller
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  #1031  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2007, 4:12 AM
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Don't feed the troll.
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  #1032  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 4:39 PM
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Downtown loft project unveiled for Buffalo's Main Street
Sharon Linstedt - News Business Reporter

A Buffalo developer has unveiled a $15 million plan to convert a string of badly faded buildings in the 500-block of Main Street in the heart of downtown to housing and mixed commercial use.

Rocco Termini of Signature Development today revealed plans to convert five buildings and the former Century Theater site … stretching from 501 to 515 Main St. … to residential use with first floor commercial space. The Century City Lofts project will also include construction of a multi-level parking structure on what is now a surface lot behind the dilapidated structures, along Washington Street. A total of 42 apartments is planned.

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  #1033  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 7:27 PM
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This is amazing news, I actually did a project on these properties as an exercise last year for school. This entire block has so much potential, so much that I had also heard that main place and Prof. shibley the found of the urban design project at ub's school of architecture and planning.

Does anyone have any renderings?
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  #1034  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sullymon54 View Post
Does anyone have any renderings?

Yes.
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  #1035  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 10:52 PM
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Then why not post them? It's just a small $15 million project.
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  #1036  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 11:14 PM
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Then why not post them? It's just a small $15 million project.
Because when they send them out, they try to be fair to the traditional print media outlets who won't be able to get the images into print until the following day- so we've been asked to hold off on putting them online. But come midnight- expect to see something up on BR, maybe a bit earlier on the skyscraper sites since they're under the radar of most people. Stay tuned.
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  #1037  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2007, 12:08 AM
BUFFALOVE!! BUFFALOVE!! is offline
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This is huge. that block is the biggest eyesore downtown, it creates a hideous immage for visitors. i'm very excited about this. Just yesterday my roommate and i were talking about how ugly this block is, especially JP's. GREAT NEWS
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  #1038  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2007, 12:50 AM
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  #1039  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2007, 1:50 AM
BUFFALOVE!! BUFFALOVE!! is offline
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WOW this will do wonders for downtown! Even the parking ramp looks nice
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  #1040  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2007, 5:08 AM
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WOW is all i can say, the parking ramp looks really good as well as the additional two stories on the current clothing store and filling in the open lot next to it, this is a win win.

Does anyone know how much of that $15 million dollar price tag is going towards the purchase of the properties from their various owners. Because I know that many of these properties were for sale but i was unaware if each of the properties that he is proposing to develop were available.
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