The real estate boom in downtown Buffalo and growing demand for space near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has prompted another nonprofit agency to put its prime property up for sale while it seeks a larger location elsewhere.
Belmont Housing Resources for WNY has listed its one-story headquarters at 1195 Main St., citing its proximity to the medical campus, with 1.53 acres of land. The agency occupies the entire 24,531-square-foot building, which is being marketed for $3.5 million.
The nonprofit doesn't feel any urgent pressure to move at this time, but officials are aware that they will eventually need more room to accommodate their growing operations and staff, said Brad Packard, director of housing development for Belmont. And the timing is right to "consider options that we may have to build a bit more capacity," he added.
"With the growth of the medical campus, there's been an appreciation of overall property values in this locality," he said. "And we've had some growth in our business, and we're interested in looking at locations that will afford us some room for expansion over the course of the next several years."
Packard said officials are looking for 30,000 to 35,000 square feet, which "would probably give us more than enough room for our growth on the trajectory that we're on right now."
He said the agency is "certainly not actively pursuing suburban locations, but we are open to all options at this time." However, he noted that access to public transit is important, "so we are definitely minded toward the city or a somewhat centralized location in the vicinity of the city."
Belmont's current building was constructed in 1989 and expanded in 2004, and includes on-site surface parking for 62 vehicles, according to David Schiller of Pyramid Brokerage Co., who is marketing the property. The real estate listing notes that it's ideal for general offices, medical offices or healthcare services, back-office operations or technology companies.
“We’re putting it on the market to see what they can get for the building,” Schiller said. "The relatively sizzling market around the medical campus is generating prospects already."
Schiller noted that he currently has both the former Lifetime Health Building at 899 Main St. and the UNYTS Building at 110 Broadway under contract to be sold, not far from Belmont. And he and Belmont is already seeing some activity in its listing.
"We've already had some interest and we're pursuing those leads," Packard said, without elaborating.
Belmont, which advocates for accessible and affordable housing, maintains the bulk of its functions – including its administrative offices and its Housing Resource Center – at the Main Street location. In all, about 125 people work out of the central office.
The housing-focused agency also has an office on Spruce Street in North Tonawanda.
The nonprofit works with municipalities to rehab and resell vacant homes, helps families get affordable rental housing, and even builds new housing through both new construction and adaptive reuse of older properties. It also promotes lead-abatement and other home safety programs and offers housing counseling.