Potential bidders at next week’s foreclosure auction for Buffalo’s tallest office building will have to complete the entire purchase of the building by Nov. 1, under rules issued Friday by the court-appointed referee.
Attorney Peter Allen Weinmann announced the strict guidelines for the public auction of One Seneca Tower just a few days before the Oct. 1 sale, which will take place in the first-floor auditorium of the 38-story tower, at 3 p.m.
According to the rules, in order to bid at all, a bidder must provide proof that they possess at least 10 percent of the bid amount in certified funds in either cash or an official bank check, and must pay at least 10 percent of the winning bid in those certified funds. The bid also cannot be transferred to someone else. And failure to complete the purchase will be considered a default, with the bidder liable to pay any difference between a new lower bid and the earlier bid, as well as interest and loss of the 10 percent deposit.
However, the rules do not apply to the mortgage holder or servicer, LNR Partners, which is widely expected to win the auction. The building’s current owner and borrower, New York City-based Seneca One Realty, owes $91 million on the tower and parking garage, but the 850,000-square-foot building – which is 95 percent empty – is now worth less than $20 million, according to recent appraisals.