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Seneca One going red with new paint job; work on M&T 'tech hub' resumes

Seneca One going red with new paint job; work on M&T 'tech hub' resumes

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Buffalo's tallest building is about to get a new hue.

Seneca One tower's exterior will gradually take on a red-brick appearance, as redevelopment of Buffalo's tallest building moves along.

The new look will be the result of an epoxy paint applied to the facade by Douglas Development, the owner of the complex. The developer began painting on Monday. It will take more than 15,000 gallons of paint to complete the job.

The idea is to give a new sense of vibrancy to the 38-story tower that looms over downtown.

Work has also resumed on M&T Bank's "tech hub" inside the complex, after several weeks of delay amid the Covid-19 pandemic. M&T on Monday provided an update on the progress of the tech hub and other projects at the complex.

M&T is creating a hub for technology innovation at the tower and hopes other tech-minded companies will join it to promote creativity and collaboration. 43North and Techstars are based at the building, as is Odoo, a business software company. BetterMynd, a startup from Rochester, has also committed to moving into Seneca One.

When M&T paused construction of the tech hub in March, the bank was nearly finished with the first 10 floors inside the tower that it is leasing. That work is now wrapping up, including the installation of furniture and equipment, said Julia Berchou, a bank spokeswoman.

M&T expects its leased space in the tower to be ready for occupancy in the third quarter. But it's another question as to when M&T will move in employees.

Berchou said M&T "plans to continue to closely monitor the pandemic and work with its executive teams to identify a timeline for a safe opening." M&T has told its employees the bank will maintain its current work arrangements – with about 90% of employees working from home – until at least Labor Day.

M&T is also developing two floors in Seneca One for its tech hub. That work was in its early stages when construction was paused. Work on those floors has resumed, with the first phase of electrical, plumbing and framing, as well as steel work, which will create a mezzanine on the plaza level, Berchou said.

Before construction was paused, M&T had aimed to have 1,000 employees working at Seneca One by midyear. Longer-range plans called for having 1,500 employees on-site within three years. While that timeline has shifted, M&T has affirmed its commitment to the project.

While the tech hub is a driving force in Seneca One's revitalization, other projects at the complex are also moving ahead:

• Construction on the building’s 115 apartments is nearly complete. Residential occupants are expected to start moving in during August. Work on the lobby and other amenities is being finalized to prepare for tenants.

• Work has resumed on interior features including the food hall, elevators and escalators.

• Exterior improvements, including the installation of perimeter wind breaks, landscaping and concrete work, are continuing.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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