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Investor group buys Elmwood home of Wasabi restaurant, Head Over Heels

A investor group from Buffalo and New York City has acquired an Elmwood Avenue retail building from longtime owners Donald and Lori Leone.

The group, Golden Apple NY, paid $770,000 to buy the two-story building at 752-754 Elmwood from the Leones.

The ground floor of the 4,973-square-foot building, constructed in 1910, hosts Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Head Over Heels, a women's shoes and accessories store. There are four apartments upstairs, according to city records, along with an external detached garage.

Mary C. Chen, a local attorney for the investors, said the group is led by a local person and includes members with ties to Wasabi. No changes are planned to the tenants.

"My client is going to continue renting it out to the restaurant," she said. "I'm sure they're going to do some improvements to it, because it needs some attention."

The Leones previously owned a group of 11 properties along Elmwood, Potomac and Ashland avenues, near Bidwell Parkway, which they sold to Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. in 2016. Ciminelli then announced plans to demolish the structures and construct a $40 million residential project, involving two new five-story mixed-use buildings dubbed Arbor + Reverie, with nearly 100 condominiums and apartments and eight retail storefronts.

The project proposal has since been scaled back because of neighborhood opposition, with one building shelved for now and the other reduced in size, but even that has not moved forward in nearly a year.

Future of Ciminelli's Reverie project is now uncertain

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