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Law partners buy Lucy Curley Building for $1.2 million

A two-story mansion-turned-office building on Franklin Street that formerly belonged to a well-known entrepreneur and grant writer has been acquired by the lead partners of a Buffalo immigration law firm, which will relocate to the building.

Michael Serotte and Rita Georges, through 370 Franklin Street LLC, bought the former Lucy Curley Building at 370 Franklin for $1.2 million, according to Erie County Clerk records and broker Chris Greco, who handled the purchase.

The 4,667-square-foot building had been owned by the Trinity Episcopal Church on Delaware Avenue, through Trinity Rising LLC, which marketed the property for sale through Chris Malachowski of Hunt Real Estate. It includes a garage and 44 parking spaces, according to city records.

Serotte is the founding partner of Serotte Law, while Georges is the managing partner. The firm – with offices in Buffalo, Toronto and Palo Alto, Calif. – specializes in helping students, workers, families, businesses, investors and other foreign nationals obtain a range of visas or "green cards."

Constructed in 1900, the red-brick building is on a half-acre lot across from the Cyclorama Building and Grosvenor Library. It was owned by Lucy Curley Teresi from 1977 to 2012, and was the home of her business, Lucy Curley & Company Inc., a consulting firm. The company worked with municipalities, businesses and nonprofits both regionally and nationally, helping them obtain more than $100 million in public and private funds.

A Buffalo native with degrees from Rosary Hill College, Canisius College and University at Buffalo, Curley was active in state and local Democratic Party circles. She also worked with local nonprofits, including ArtPark in Lewiston, the Aquarium of Niagara, the Buffalo Zoo and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, as well as with Griffis Sculpture Park and Essex Art Center founder Larry Griffis Jr.

She was a member of the Niagara Frontier State Park Commission from 1977 to 1994, and was a former director of Artpark. Her mother, Lucy Alford Curley, was the first female treasurer in Buffalo.

The younger Curley died in 2016, four years after she sold the building to Trinity for $800,000.

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