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Savarino wants to use vacant Larkinville lot for parking

Developer Samuel Savarino is seeking Buffalo Planning Board approval Tuesday morning to convert a 0.22-acre vacant lot in the Larkinville area into an additional 65-car parking lot for his 500 Seneca St. mixed-use project.

The site at 476 Seneca, at one time a massive industrial warehouse building like 500 Seneca itself, is now an empty grass- and dirt-covered lot, but is intended for tenants of 500 Seneca nearby. Savarino is also working on a 189-car lot on another property on Seneca as well.

Savarino and Frontier Group of Companies are spending $38 million to convert the 306,000-square-foot former F.N. Burt manufacturing facility into 150,000 square feet of office space and 110 residential apartments, with a three-story atrium, a private courtyard and various tenant amenities like a restaurant, cafeteria, fitness center, spa and salon. A bicycle storage and repair facility is also included, as well as tenant storage, meeting space and a pet daycare.

Construction is nearing completion, with the first commercial tenants slated to take occupancy in June, Savarino said. Besides Savarino Cos. and Frontier themselves, office tenants will include insurer Liberty Mutual Corp. of Boston, collections agency ABC-Amega Inc., Bradford Energy, Bene-Care Agency, Leadership Buffalo and Tommyrotters Distillery, as well as a data center.