Gold Wynn Residential, the Toronto-based real estate company that owns the former Buffalo Athletic Club building on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo, is buying the office building across the street that is home to law firm Lipsitz Green Scime & Cambria.
Acting through Gold Wynn 42 Delaware LLC, the company owned by the Wynn brothers paid $2.9 million on Friday to buy the eight-story building at 42 Delaware Ave. The seller was RMR Group of Newton, Mass., acting through ABP Properties LLC.
The 63,248-square-foot building, constructed from 1928-1929 on about a quarter-acre, is more than 70% occupied by Lipsitz Green, one of the city's largest law firms. Another smaller tenant occupies some additional space, while other suites are vacant.
Besides leasing out the remaining space, Gold Wynn plans to "update" some interior spaces, "clean up the lobby a little bit" and bring in a food-service retailer on the first floor, said Ben Friedland, vice president of finance. But otherwise, it doesn't plan major changes to the structure, he added.
"The building is already in pretty nice shape," he said. The space was renovated within the last 12 months, according to broker D. Scott Roth of J.R. Militello Realty, who handled the deal.
RMR is a 33-year-old alternative asset management company that runs five real estate investment trusts, three real estate-related operating companies, a real estate securities mutual fund and a real estate finance company. The publicly traded company has $32.8 billion in assets under management through 2,200 properties.
Gold Wynn – part of the Wynn Group of Companies that operates across Canada, as well as in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Israel – expanded into the Buffalo market in recent years, adding to holdings in Los Angeles and Tulsa, Okla. The firm bought the art deco-style athletic club building at 69 Delaware, and then renovated and rebranded it as the ACB Building.
Since then, it purchased three other apartment buildings, but also acquired the entire 18-building portfolio of New York City investor Anthony Kissling, giving it a significant presence in the Buffalo market.
In another, unrelated transaction on Friday, Mohammed K. Uddin's Barkat Buffalo LLC paid $330,000 to buy the Neapolis Family Restaurant building at 1389 Bailey Ave. in the Lovejoy neighborhood from Albert C. Chavez. Chavez had put the building and business up for sale at $349,000. The 16,740-square-foot, two-story building was constructed in 1940 on .37 acre, and includes a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor.