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Dun Building sells for $1.3 million

Banker-turned-developer Paul Kolkmeyer and two partners have acquired the Dun Building in downtown Buffalo from Michael Joseph’s Clover Management as an investment.

Kolkmeyer and Greg Suffoletto of Priam Enterprises, together with a third anonymous partner, paid $1.325 million for the 10-story edifice, acting through 110 Pearl LLC, according to brokers Robert Roller and Adam Koehn of CBRE, who represented Clover.

Joseph, who was seeking $1.58 million, put the building up for sale late last year, along with two others in Buffalo and Williamsville, as part of a shift in his development focus.

There are no plans for radical changes to the building, which is almost fully occupied by a mix of office tenants, said Kolkmeyer, the onetime CEO of First Niagara Financial Group who has shifted his attention to real estate development over the last seven years.

“We just like the building. We knew it was up for sale,” said Kolkmeyer, head of Priam, an investment holding company. “Our plans are to maintain it. We hope to keep as many of our tenants that we have in there today as possible, as long as they would like to stay there.”

Located at 110 Pearl St., the 27,265-square-foot building was the first high-rise structure in Buffalo, as well as the first steel-framed and first fireproof building in the city. Completed in 1895, it was named for R.G. Dun & Co., the financial services predecessor to today’s Dun & Bradstreet Co.

The neoclassical building was designed by architects E.B. Green and William Wicks. Clover had owned it since 1999.

“It’s really an investment opportunity, from our standpoint,” Kolkmeyer said. “At this point, there’s no expectation that we’re going to do any major redevelopment of the property. We’re just going to maintain the status quo.”

The only available space is 3,500 square feet in the basement, where a tenant had been on a month-to-month lease that was terminated at the end of Clover’s ownership. Kolkmeyer said he and his group are working with a possible new retail or restaurant tenant, but he declined to identify the tenant because a lease has not been signed.

“We’ve got some interested parties that knew about our pending purchase and would like to go into the building, but we really have very limited space available at this point in time,” Kolkmeyer said.

Joseph, founder and president of Clarence-based Clover Management, has been selling his nonresidential properties over the last five years to focus on senior housing and apartments, two areas widely seen as major growth arenas in Western New York.

Besides the Dun Building, Joseph is also seeking to sell the Caldwell Building in the Village of Williamsville and a third building at 3407 Delaware Ave. in the Town of Tonawanda. He previously sold the Triad Building on Millersport Highway, an apartment building for University at Buffalo students.

Caldwell, located at 5820 Main St., has 27,984 square feet of Class B space and is listed for $2.8 million. It’s 94 percent occupied. The Tonawanda property is a two-story commercial strip building with 16,088 square feet of space, just south of Sheridan Drive.

Like the Dun Building, the other two are also listed with CBRE’s Buffalo office. Joseph also owns some other local properties that he plans to sell over the next few years.

Meanwhile, the Williamsville native, who spent six years as a real estate investment banker on Wall Street before returning home, has built 16 senior apartment projects in Western New York, Syracuse, Binghamton, the Utica area, and in Erie and Scranton, Pa. He’s also working on projects in Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Cleveland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.