The new owner of One Seneca Tower paid $12.6 million for Buffalo's tallest building and its accompanying parking ramp, according to the deed records now filed with the Erie County Clerk.
Douglas Jemal, owner of Douglas Development Corp. in Washington, D.C., paid $8.98 million for the vacant 38-story office tower at 1 Seneca St. and another $3.63 million for the five-level parking ramp at 177 Washington St.
The properties were purchased from a trust owned by bondholders who were owed $91 million on a previous pair of mortgages, on which the building's prior owner, Seneca One Realty of New York City, defaulted. LNR Partners of Miami Beach, Fla., administered the trust and held title to the properties after it completed foreclosures on the tower and ramp in October 2015 and March 2016, respectively.
Jemal, the No. 2 commercial real estate developer in the Washington area, now plans to spend as much as $200 million on an ambitious redevelopment of the empty tower into a mixed-use complex roughly equally split between residential, hotel and commercial office space. The bottom levels would also have "significant" retail use, he has said.
Jemal, who plans to relocate to Buffalo for several months to focus on his new holding, now plans to work with architects and engineers, as well as city officials, on designing the redevelopment project. The conversion is expected to take three to five years.
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