Former Video Factory owner Ron Alsheimer is quitting the entertainment business a second time, putting his 3-year-old DVD Dot chain up for sale.
Alsheimer said his "second and final exit" from the entertainment rental industry is based on the need to focus his time and attention on his fast-growing commercial real estate company, The Plaza Group.
"This is really it this time. DVD DOT has been fun and interesting, and it's been a money-maker, but I'd like some down time in my life," Alsheimer said.
DVD Dot debuted in 2002 as a single all-DVD rental store at 3147 Delaware Ave. in Kenmore. While original plans called for as many as 22 stores, only three more appeared: at 214 Elmwood Ave. and 313 W. Ferry St., both in Buffalo, and in Pine Plaza in Niagara Falls.
Alsheimer plans to retain ownership of the Buffalo and Kenmore buildings after sale of the DVD business. A long-time independent video store operator, he sold his 30-store Video Factory chain to Blockbuster Entertainment in 1994, which at the time was the country's 7th largest video rental chain.
Alsheimer's Plaza Group now owns more than 70 properties in New York, Florida and North Carolina. Locally, the portfolio is primarily office buildings, many of them historic properties, including the former Chapin Mansion at 1207 Delaware Ave.; 70 Niagara St., on Niagara Square, and the former Chatham Hotel at 534 Delaware Ave.
Recent local acquisitions include the former Hamister Group headquarters at 651 Delaware Ave., a former M&T Bank at 133 Grant St., and a former medical building at 897 Delaware Ave.
Plaza Group is also converting a building at 635 Main St. to four luxury apartments, plus first-floor office space, and a long-vacant nursing home at 1040 Delaware Ave. to 40 "mid-price" apartments.