McGuire Development Co. is still planning to construct a second office building at its Compass East project in downtown Buffalo, but it's taken longer than expected to line up tenants to fill the space, officials said.
The developer received city approval a year ago to erect a new 48,000-square-foot facility at 425 Michigan Ave., across a sprawling parking lot from the main Compass East, formerly Sheehan Memorial Hospital. But it first needs to sign an anchor tenant to occupy at least 25,000 square feet in order to ensure financing, and that's been a bit challenging.
"We are seeing increased office space demand throughout all our markets, but Buffalo usually lags behind a national recovery," said McGuire President Jim Dentinger.
In the meantime, the city authorization is expiring, so the Planning Board approved a one-year extension this week.
The $8.5 million project envisions a three-story building geared mostly for office space, with some room for retail stores on the ground floor. It's aimed at tenants who want to be downtown and are interested in supporting the revival of the near East Side, but also need abundant free parking and quick access to highways. In particular, officials are seeking two to three large tenants "that are service-driven" to benefit from the location, Dentinger said.
"Our sales team has been actively marketing the building for a tenant," said Lisa Hicks, associate director of development and finance at McGuire. "We have a couple of solid leads. We just need some additional time."