Big Deal: Sinatra Expands Main/Ferry Holdings

Developer Nick Sinatra has purchased additional property in the Main/Ferry neighborhood.  Sinatra purchased 1487 Main Street and its adjoining parking lot on Friday from Column Development Inc. for $825,000.  Sinatra says the purchase was for investment, not redevelopment purposes.  The one-story, 5,400 sq.ft. building is occupied by Child & Adolescent Treatment Services, a mental health agency.  

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1487 Main is one block south of Sinatra’s Fenton Village project at the corner of Main and Ferry streets.  Late last year, Sinatra purchased the historic Fenton Hotel at 945 W. Ferry Street.  The building, constructed to accommodate guests attending the Pan Am Exposition in 1901, contains 23 apartments.  This year he acquired a vacant lot at 1516 Main, a small structure at 1524 Main, and 1526 Main, a prominent, three-story corner commercial building.  The Fenton Village properties will be renovated into a mix of 31 apartments and commercial space.  The first apartments in Fenton Village are expected to be ready for occupancy in six to eight weeks.
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Main and Ferry is getting a long-overdue makeover.  Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) restored an architecturally significant building on the northwest corner of Main and Ferry streets and a three-story addition was constructed along Ferry. The expanded building now houses the offices of the civil rights organization as well as ten units of affordable housing.
The renewed interest appears to have spurred a Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency Request for Proposals for a vacant building at 1556 Main Street.  The one-story structure is 2,632 sq.ft. on a 74′ x 174′ lot zoned General Commercial.  It was previously used as a body shop.  Proposals are due January 25.
The purchase of 1487 Main caps a busy year for Sinatra.  Sinatra & Company Realty has purchased over a dozen properties with an excess of 200 apartments and 100,000 sq.ft. of commercial space in Buffalo and surrounding suburbs.  In the city, Sinatra’s focus has been in the Elmwood Village and areas near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
 
Get Connected: Sinatra & Company Realty, 716.220.8468

About the author  ⁄ WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

12 comments
RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Thanks for that! Actually I've done some research since that comment, and found that it was indeed built to be an auto showroom -- but for the Grant car. I know, I'd never heard of it, either -- and in fact the Cleveland-based car company only outlasted its Buffalo showroom (1919) by a couple of years. Industry consolidation & all -- few companies could keep up with the massive production of Henry Ford in the 1920s.

Subsequently, the building served as an auto showroom for other kinds of cars -- and after the rug company, housed at least one used car dealership. So it wouldn't surprise me if Studebaker was in there at one point or another. Do you by chance know the dates for that--? I may do a separate post on this & if so I'll be sure to credit you on any specifics you have.

jpp
jpp

This was originally built as a Studebaker automobile dealership.

bobbyraz49
bobbyraz49

Purchases are being made to turn a profit !!

The footprint of UB's medical school will be much larger than most imagined.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Way to go Sinatra for seeing the potential of the Main/Ferry area and being willing to invest there!

Several thoughts:

* I've always liked this little classical revival building, but seeing the old picture -- wow! I understand that most of the surviving buildings in this area were "bunkerized" (windows filled in, street entrances dis-used, etc.) due to crime & blight, but since that tide is turning it would be awesome to restore all that glass (as with some buildings elsewhere on Main) and corner entrance. For a relatively small investment, that would make a huge visible change in the character of that block.

* It's awesome to see the Main/Ferry re-investment jump to the other side of Main Street. May others follow!

* This beautiful building looks like it was built in the auto era (say, early '20s -- later in the '20s a bldg like this might have been built Art-Deco, like similar bldgs farther north on Main) when single-purpose, single-story buildings with parking began to be built. Earlier buildings on a commercial corridor like Main would have been multi-story, mixed-use. Although the historic picture shows a carpet company in the building, my guess would be it was originally built to be an auto showroom. The side office shown in the picture would be consistent with the layout of other early auto showrooms I've seen.

* In time, the block where this building is located could benefit from some sensitive infill. For example, Willoughby Insurance could be the anchor tenant of a nice, multistory, mixed-use building at the SE corner of Main & Ferry. Someday!

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

I like what he is doing, in general--he seems to have an understanding that "less" and "returning to the basics" of a buildings aesthetic can be more. And, I appreciate that he backed off on the demo of the building (liquor store) on Main St.

I would be completely surprised to see this "not developed" in a matter of a couple of years.....

rpm40
rpm40

I didn't like the Fenton either when I saw it, but it's not terrible. I like what he's done on Delaware better, for example. I will give him credit though- it seems he makes an effort to preserve and restore where possible. I like that they're tearing off the nasty mismatched materials and restoring the original brick facades in Kenmore.

Tom
Tom

I was disappointed when I drove by the Fenton complex. To me the outside was not appealing. I didn't like the color, but do others feel this way or does it look good?

hamp
hamp

Love the "before and after" photos. Covering up all those windows was dumb.

Wouldn't some nice curtains suffice?

elmdog
elmdog

really like what he is doing with the storefronts on delaware avenue in Kenmore....I wish most of the idiots would sell on Elmwood and for a fair price...He is the type of guy that seems to want to do good in the town he is from...Elmwood Facades are beat...............................

Cozumel, Buffalo Cakery, Mode, Buffalo Pizze, OFF the wall, No No Ramen, Sole..etc....the list goes on...Who keeps telling me that Elmwood is thriving....A thriving pizza rest. avenue....

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

I'm officially outing Executive Director Scott Gehl of HOME as a hard worker: I was by there on a recent Saturday and he was at his desk working. Although I'm guessing that for anyone who knows him that won't come as a surprise :)

NorthBuf
NorthBuf

He's buying a lot really fast, I hope it's not too fast

Texpat
Texpat

If I have ever seen a building crying out for restoration then this is the one. The addition of some street trees is also painfully needed.

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