Big Deal: Hager Mills Property Sold

A vacant Elm Street property has changed hands.  Elm Street Properties LLC sold the former Spaghetti Warehouse building at 141 Elm Street (officially 456 Michigan Avenue on property tax records) to Elm/Michigan Holdings LLC for $706,522 yesterday.  According to the NYS Corporation and Business Entity Database, Elm/Michigan Holdings has a mailing address of 2760 Kenmore Avenue in Tonawanda where TM Montante Development has its offices.  
The circa-1883 building has been home to a string of restaurants and bars beginning with Spaghetti Warehouse in 1988, Your Father’s Mustache, Sweetwater’s, and finally SensationZ which closed in 2004. The 43,500 square foot structure was formerly a lumber mill operated by E.M. Hager & Sons.
At least two developers had plans for the site in recent years, each involving a residential conversion.  In 2010, Greenleaf & Co. teamed with former First Niagara Bank Chairman Paul J. Kolkmeyer to draw up plans to convert the building into 38 to 40 lofts. They had the building under contract but the partners split up before work could get started.  
If TM Montante is indeed the buyer, it will be a homecoming of sorts.  Thomas M. Montante’s grandfather, Carmelo Montante, opened the first Broad Elm Tire Center a block away from the property in 1935.  In 1974, Tom co-founded Uniland Development which developed much of the Elm/Oak corridor north of Clinton Street in the 1980s.  Thomas left Uniland to form his own development company in 1997.  

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15 comments
Kristian
Kristian

I've lived downtown for several years now. Someone, please, give us a grocery store ! Whole Foods would be awesome !

The downtown population is only growing as are the number of visitors we will be bringing in as Canalside develops. Also, the number of workers/students in the medical corridor will be increasing. We need to put the infrastructure in place to support these much needed changes. Grocery stores tend to stabilize an area and build a sense of community.

Whole Foods and a decent downtown doggie park !

MikeN
MikeN

I love the potential of this building and all of the other remaining brick buildings lining this street... especially its location at which you can see Roswell (and the medical corridor) right up the street.

Hopefully this building and 133-135 property can be transformed simultaneously. Does anyone know if the old paper warehouse across the the Public Safety campus has been fully rented out. I don't think a restaurant is too viable in this location.

I'd love to see new awnings & some small store(s) on the first level much as what was done in the student lofts building.

Milkman
Milkman

I would love to see a nightclub come here. With it being so close to Litelab, maybe go for a disco theme. Buffalo needs new leadership

NBuffguy
NBuffguy

It's a little hard to get excited for the third time in six years about plans for this building. Hopefully three's the charm.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

Cheap sale price for a big parcel in a strong location.

RumRunner
RumRunner

Good to hear the building has changed hands - what a great location for a mixed commercial space.

Buffplanner
Buffplanner

I've been Buffalo about 10 years now, and I think this building has changed hands at least 3 times. This building is a pretty challenging redevelopment. Hopefully Tom Montante can make it work.

BuffaloRox
BuffaloRox

Nice to know that this building changed hands. However, it would be nicer yet to see some real action on this building, not just press releases and artist renderings.

jketry
jketry

I drive by this building almost everyday. With the need for a grocery store downtown I always thought this would be a great location for a market-type higher end grocery store, to support all the new residential living in the area. I hope they do something creative with it. Anything is better than what the owners did with Bernstone Cigar store on Swan St. Tearing it down was a tragedy, and they should be held accountable.

BuffaloBoy
BuffaloBoy

A little more Hager lore:

Hager made custom millwork for clients all across the country, including the White House. The building was purchased in the early '80s by a local business man. At that time much of Hager's original, belt driven, machinery was still in place. There was also quite a bit of NOS millwork and lumber still present. At that time there was talk of renting areas of the building to various small businesses involved in restoration and architectural salvage. Those plans never came to fruition and the Spaghetti Warehouse deal came along a bit later.

Chris
Chris

Any redevelopment of a property once called "SensationZ" needs to be celebrated.

What is with all of the windowless one story bunkers that line Elm. Thank god development has moved past the idea of bringing the 'burbs downtown.

Dagner
Dagner

This is great news. The city seems ripe for redevelopment there. Shedding the shredded awnings will vastly improve the building's, and the neighborhood's, appearance. Do it now.

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