Nick Sinatra, the real estate developer who has been acquiring properties primarily in North Buffalo and Kenmore, has struck a deal to buy the Market Arcade Building from the city for $1.4 million, with plans to relocate his firm’s headquarters to the downtown site.
Sinatra & Co. Realty has agreed to buy the three-building complex at 615-623 Main St., in the Theatre District, from the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, which currently holds title to the property. The deal was negotiated at fair market value, based on “substantial due diligence” by Sinatra and following a “thorough and competitive” request-for-proposals process, according to a memo, from agency general counsel Scott C. Billman to the oard. A copy was provided to The Buffalo News.
Under the agreement with Sinatra, the firm will relocate its main offices from its current home at 3350 Delaware Ave. in Kenmore and will invest in significant capital improvements, including restoring the interior and exterior facades. Public access to the building, including the first floor “thoroughfare,” will be maintained.
Agency directors will vote on the proposal at their meeting today. If approved, and if a final contract is signed, it will be forwarded to the Common Council for final action.
Sinatra and Buffalo Strategic Planning Director Brendan Mehaffy both deferred comment until the meeting.
Formally known as the Palace Arcade, the three-story Market Arcade building was built in 1892 by G.B. Marshall and designed by E.B. Green and William S. Wicks, who modeled the neoclassical and beaux-arts building after London’s Burlington Arcade. It was named for the bustling public market that once existed at Washington and Chippewa streets nearby, and it was later owned by G.B. Mathews, a flour miller.
Business fell after the end of that market, tenants left, and the building was closed in the late 1970s.
The city took the building over in 1985, did an extensive $10 million renovation in the 1990s and reopened it in 1995 with restored marble, stone, brick and terra cotta, as well as Corinthian columns and more elaborate and intricate ornamental features on the facade. It features a glass-roofed, through-the-block atrium, with entryways to the two adjacent buildings. It remains the city’s only historic covered shopping mall, with shops, restaurants, a gallery and office space lining both sides on all three levels, as well as some residential space in the complex.
Tenants now include Visit Buffalo Niagara, the 3,000-square-foot Buffalo Niagara Visitors Center, CEPA Gallery, Clinton Brown Company Architecture Rebuild, Flynn Battaglia Architects, Perfetto’s Italian Restaurant and the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, or control board.
Most recently, Mazurek’s Bakery opened in the building after city officials approached the South Park Avenue bakery to open its second location.
Last summer, the city decided to put the 76,160-square-foot complex up for sale for $1.8 million after receiving inquiries from potential buyers.
It was listed through Christie R. Nelson, director of the city’s Division of Real Estate and a licensed real estate broker.