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Douglas Jemal gets OK for 33 more apartments at Seneca One

Douglas Jemal gets OK for 33 more apartments at Seneca One

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Seneca One retail building rendering

Renderings of the three apartment floors to be constructed above the southern retail building on the plaza level of Seneca One.

The Buffalo Planning Board has approved developer Douglas Jemal's proposed addition of 33 more apartments at the Seneca One complex in downtown Buffalo, in response to strong demand for the 115 apartments that were previously built.

Jemal's Douglas Development Corp. plans to add three floors of apartments on top of a one-story retail building at the northeast quadrant of the plaza level, adjacent to the 38-story tower.

Each floor will have 11 apartments, and the facade of the 30,000-square-foot addition will feature red brick and punched window openings – in a warehouse style that matches the base and would look more historic for the waterfront area.

Douglas Jemal at Seneca One

Douglas Jemal at Seneca One Tower on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

"Instead of making it look contemporary, we’re trying to make it look like this building might have been here much longer," said architect Lauren Pacheco of Antunovich Associates. "We’re really trying to keep with the rhythm that’s already on the site."

The developer originally proposed and received city approval for an almost identical concept in 2017, but with a modern look. Jemal amended it later to reduce the four-story building back to one floor to be more conservative in expectations, said attorney Lindsey Haubenreich.

"Due to the overwhelming success of the residential units currently being leased at the site, the developer is proposing to add on these units to meet the demand," Haubenreich said.

The Planning Board also recommended approval by the Common Council for:

  • An outdoor patio for Michal Giacobbi’s Cucina Citta restaurant at 59 Allen St. and 494 Franklin St.
  • A microbrewery and taproom called Iron Island Brewery at 1223 Lovejoy St., next to a restaurant that the same group – Carousel Development – owns and operates. “It’s a very cool addition to the Iron Island/Lovejoy neighborhood,” Schwartz said.
  • The expansion of Moriarty Meats at 1650-1652 Elmwood Ave., to reopen a lunchtime restaurant in the front portion of the building that houses the whole-animal butcher shop.
  • A rezoning of 59, 61 and 67 Walden Ave. to allow a halal market to expand from 2,400 square feet to 6,300 square feet.

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One Seneca Tower, the tallest privately owned building in upstate New York. Completed in 1972, One Seneca Tower, formerly called One HSBC Center and Marine Midland Center is currently owned by Douglas Development Corp. of Washington, D.C. The structure stands 529 feet high and boasts 38 floors. The idea of constructing it was announced 40 years ago, at a time when skyscrapers were viewed as big-time civic statements about relevancy and possibility.

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