Seneca Street is rapidly becoming the connecting link between the Larkin District and Canalside in downtown Buffalo. Once a commercial-industrial neighborhood adjacent to downtown, it has several new and re-use developments underway.
And at the center of this changing neighborhood is 550 Seneca St., the home of the Seneca Street Lofts, the city’s newest example of commercial building re-use. It is being undertaken by the Frontier Group of Companies.
Located at the corner of Hamburg Street, the former A&P Bakery and warehouse, which had been vacant in recent years, has been transformed in 41 market-rate apartments.
“It is the right time for such a project,” noted co-developer Daniel Pawlik of CSS Construction, the general construction company. “Three years ago, Larkinville was just getting started, now it is ready to grow beyond a business, retail and entertainment district by adding a growing residential component.”
Set in a “valley,” off the traffic of Seneca Street, the two-story and four-story structure features more than 92,000 square feet of space. “The surface level will provide indoor parking for 78 vehicles,” began Brian Burke, executive vice president of E.F. Burke, Co. “There also is 7,000 square feet of commercial and storage space on the first floor,” he added.
The upper three levels have been divided into one- and two-bedroom apartments with 10 different floor plans of various sizes from 700 to 1,250 square feet of living space. Rents range from $730 to $1,340.
“Most of the rents are in the moderate range,” said Burke,whose company will provide property management. “We had rent deposits from prospective tenants for 25 percent of the units in the first week of showing,” he said.
The exterior of the building retains the box-look of the warehouse but is “urbanized” with a new, painted epoxy filler. The modern industrial charm is most evident in the windows — the geometric grids against the exterior of the building create the effect of a modern work of art. Views are of Larkinville to the east and downtown to the west.
Carmen Wood Morris designed the re-use project retaining some warehouse features, such as exposed cement support columns, high ceilings, exposed mechanicals and brick flooring in the hallways, with popular, urban amenities in the units that include hardwood flooring, ceramic tile and contemporary kitchens and pendant lighting.
Other amenities include air conditioning, in-unit washer/dryer hook-ups and private storage space.
Beside the Larkin District and Canalside, the complex is in close proximity to Coca-Cola Field, the First Niagara Center and several restaurants. There is easy access to Route 190, surface streets and two NFTA bus routes.
Model units are open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. For an appointment call 675-3000. senecastreetlofts.com