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Tri-Main owners plan apartments, offices for Jewett Parkway building

The owners of the Tri-Main Center on Main Street are getting ready to start the second phase of redeveloping the nearby former Phoenix Frontier building, after successfully completing and leasing out the first part of a $4.5 million project.

Tri-Main Development LLC is seeking approval from the Buffalo Planning Board on Monday to renovate a three-story building at 45 Jewett Parkway, at the corner of Halbert Street. Plans call for most of the facility to be reused as commercial offices, but the partners also want to test the neighborhood's residential appeal by creating three apartments in space on the second and third floors.

The 40,000-square-foot building is part of a bigger 80,000-square-foot complex that also includes a two-story masonry building at 100 Leroy Ave. and a one-story link between them, which also will be renovated.

Tri-Main already spent $2 million to redevelop the first building, at the corner of Halbert. It contains offices for Community Action Organization of Erie County on the first floor and Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers upstairs.

Tri-Main President Matthew Wolfe said the second building is 15 percent pre-leased, with a couple of signed contracts for tenants that he declined to reveal. The group is working on others.

The proposed renovation work will include selective demolition, a new entry and second floor on top of the connector, and some structural modifications to the building, according to a letter to the Planning Board from BHNT Architects PC. If approved, Wolfe said he hoped to have tenants in place for the $2.5 million second phase by July.

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