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Buyer of bishop's mansion sells own nearby house for $1.3 million

The new owner of the former bishop's mansion in Buffalo has just sold his own residence just up the street, taking in enough to cover 87 percent of the cost of his new purchase before commissions and expenses.

Eric Stenclik, who paid $1.5 million on Tuesday to buy the nine-bedroom mansion at 77 Oakland Place from the Catholic Diocese, sold the home he owned with his father, Richard, at 94 Oakland. The buyers, Christopher E. and Julie A. Kay, paid $1.3 million for the five-bedroom house, known as the Horace Reed house.

Kay was hired in November by M&T Bank Corp. as its executive vice president and head of consumer banking, business banking and marketing, making him one of the Buffalo-based bank's top executives. He joined after serving as chief innovation officer at insurer Humana, following senior roles at Citi Ventures and Target Corp.

Stenclik, who has degrees from Columbia University, Yale University and University of Toronto, is an adjunct professor of religious studies and theology at Canisius College, a Jesuit school. His brother, Scott, is president and CEO of Amherst-based staffing and recruitment company Aleron Group – formerly Superior Group – which was previously owned by their father.

Stenclik has not responded to multiple telephone messages from The Buffalo News, which learned of his expected purchase of the bishop's mansion more than two weeks ago but did not have confirmation until the sale closed.

Stenclik and his partner, Steven Dietz, previously received acclaim for their historic restoration of the two-story Reed house, a Colonial Revival-style home with Ionic columns on the front porch.

It was built in 1894 for John J. McWilliams, the western sales agent for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Co., as a wedding gift for his daughter, who had married Reed, one of the eventual founders and later president of the Niagara Lithograph Co. The 6,497-square-foot home was later owned by George H. Hyde, president and treasurer of the Mentholatum Co.

Stenclik and Dietz were honored by Preservation Buffalo Niagara for their work on the Reed house.

The bishop's mansion, a Tudor manor house on one of Buffalo’s most exclusive streets, had been home to Catholic bishops since 1952, when the diocese purchased it for $50,000. At one time it was the most valuable home in the city.

Buffalo Diocese sells bishop's Oakland Place home for $1.5 million

It has nine bedrooms and six bathrooms in 11,050 square feet of living space, four massive stone chimneys and a separate apartment above a five-car garage.

The Diocese sold it to raise money for its compensation fund for childhood victims of clergy sex abuse, after facing rising pressure and embarrassment amid the disclosures of abuse dating back decades. The Diocese also separately sold the former Sheehan Residence for Retired Priests, a three-story historic mansion on Linwood Avenue, with those proceeds going to the Retired Diocesan Priests’ Medical Benefits Fund.

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