Residents in Seneca One Tower’s 115 apartments should get ready for some new neighbors.
The Buffalo Planning Board on May 3 unanimously approved developer Douglas Jemal’s proposal to bring 33 more apartments into his downtown complex. Construction on the $10 million expansion will begin within the next few weeks, and the apartments should be move-in ready later this fall.
The original apartments debuted in the fall and are 95% occupied, with a waiting list for some of the larger units.
“Douglas is doing this due to overwhelming success of the (first) apartments,” said Lindsey Haubenreich, Phillips Lytle LLP senior associate. “He’s doing this to meet the demand.”
Plans call for a three-story apartment building to be erected on top of an already completed single story retail complex on the eastern plaza facing Washington Street and Sahlen Field. Each of the three floors will have 11 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The Other Half Brewing Co. will anchor the retail space.
The new 30,000-square-foot building will be separate from the tower but connected via a canopy.
Architect Lauren Pacheco from Washington, D.C.-based Antunovich Architects said the apartment’s exterior will mimic a late-1800s warehouse with a red brick design.
“Instead of looking very contemporary, it will look like the building has been here for a long time,” Pacheco said. “The intent is to keep the rhythm that’s already developed on the site going.”
The planning board also backed Legacy Development’s proposal to add a fifth building to its Axis 360 complex along LaSalle Avenue.
There was one condition: Legacy Development had hoped to get a four-story, 49-unit apartment building approved, but the board opted for a three-story, 41-unit version that Legacy proposed five years ago.
Axis 360, located at 89 LaSalle Ave., targets University at Buffalo students, who make up 90% of the tenants in the 249 apartments of the first four buildings. A sixth building remains proposed for the 11-acre site.
Some residents of nearby William Price Parkway had opposed the four-story building.
“We have gone out of our way to be good neighbors, and I believe we are,” said Frank Chinnici, Legacy president and founder.
The project is expected to cost $6 million. Construction will start later this spring, and the new building should be tenant-ready by summer 2022.