This article originally appeared on Buffalo Rising
Douglas Development Corporation is kicking-off City review of its plans to convert One Seneca Tower into a mixed-use facility. Up first is environmental and site plan review by the Planning Board. Washington, DC-based Douglas Development is taking a phased approach to the property. First up is adding retail and residential space to the plaza area. Plans for the office tower will be market-driven.
We’re getting a better look at the first phase plans thanks to Douglas’ Planning Board application:
The initial phase of redevelopment will include conversion of approximately 193,000 square feet of office space into a mixture of apartments and retail space. The Site principally consists of a 40-story office tower, two four story annex buildings to the south and west of the Tower and a plaza area to the north of the Tower. The Project includes the redevelopment of the small Annex Buildings into a mixture of apartments and retail space, the construction of a retail building adjacent to the east facade of the tower and a new retail space on the third floor of the Tower.
The Developer acquired the Site in September 2016 and proposes to redevelop the Tower, Annex Buildings and Plaza into an integrated “Live/Work/Play” environment containing retail and residential space.
The Annex Buildings will be renovated from office space to 43,000 square feet of retail space at the plaza level.
Above the retail level of the Annex Buildings will be four levels of apartments renovated from office space, including a new penthouse level with roof terraces, totaling 150,000 square feet and 183 units. Units will be a mix of studios, one-bedroom, two, and three-bedroom apartments.
The existing facade of the building will be invigorated with new materials and architectural accents.
The Project also calls for 6,150 square feet of the third floor of the Tower to be converted into retail space. A pedestrian bridge spanning Main Street and located adjacent to the north face of the Tower is also planned. This bridge will consist of three levels – one for passage over Main Street, a terrace positioned above the passage level, and a roof above the terrace.
At the Plaza level, the Project will enhance the pedestrian experience and bring new life to the Site. New landscaping, benches and street lighting will encourage foot traffic and serve as a meeting space for those who live and work in the area. A new driveway at the north end of the Plaza (above) will break up the overwhelming expansiveness of the plaza, and allow for retail and residential pickup and drop-off.
Retail along Exchange Street, with large storefronts replacing existing foreboding concrete walls will add to the pedestrian friendly design (above). The Project also entails additional modern canopies, signage, and patios for retailers throughout the Site to bring much needed variety to the currently monotone facade.
Jemals Seneca LLC paid $8,980,500 for the vacant tower and $3,632,400 for the adjacent parking ramp at Washington and Exchange streets in early October. Jemal estimated redevelopment of the complex will take about five years and cost around $100 million, making it one of the larger construction projects in recent years.
Interior gutting work is expected to begin shortly and construction of the improvements is scheduled to start in October. Antunovich Associates is architect and Finley Design is associate architect on the project.
Get Connected: Douglas Development, 202.638.6300