Construction Watch: 145 & 149 Swan Street… and Handle Bar @ The Hub pub!

Work is well underway at 145 and 149 Swan Street as the two buildings are rehabilitated. Dubbed the Apartments at the HUB, the two historic buildings will house 50 new apartments and first floor retail in original storefront space. The buildings are being developed by architect/developer Jake Schneider and his team at Schneider Design. The $13.5 million project is utilizing historic tax credits with historic review and approval services provided by Preservation Studios.

145 Swan Street First Floor

“We have three commercial tenants, all of which will be located along the storefronts on Swan Street,” explains Schneider. “They are also all bicycle related venues and in an effort to strengthen the bicycle theme of the building, we will have a bicycle sculpture on the corner of Michigan and Swan and ample bike racks.”

First Floor of 149 Swan

149 Swan Street will house two of the commercial tenants including a fitness center dedicated to cyclists. “They will offer state of the art computerized bicycle training equipment and staff trained to maximize a rider’s fitness, skill, and enjoyment for the sport of biking,” he continued. The other tenant in the building will be the Handle Bar at the Hub, a pub that will be operated by Jake’s daughter, Sarah Schneider who currently operates Merge Restaurant. Sarah will be partnering with Evan Thomson in the endeavor.

Apartment being framed in 145 Swan

“Handlebar is a sanctuary for bicyclists. It’s a place where two-wheeled enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of fueling food items like pizza and baked potatoes, and refreshments like fresh smoothies, specialty cocktails and over 12 different draft beer options,” explained Sarah. “Guests can also fuel up their electronics at pedal powered charging stations. The space is lit by bold, gothic-industrial bike chain chandeliers and features more unique interior design elements like gears lacquered into the bar top and bicycle photographs. Cyclists looking to unwind can relax outside on the patio or watch live cycling events like the Tour de France on custom designed bike pedal bar stools indoors. What better destination to head toward on a downtown bike trek?”

New corridor and apartments in 149 Swan

The remaining storefront space in 145 Swan Street will be utilized for a The Bike Shop, which is an expansion outlet of the Bike Shop located in East Aurora.


About the author  ⁄ Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

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"the handle bar?" props to whoever thought that up.


Sounds like hipster paradise. Will all 12 of the draft beers be PBR? Good to hear they're going to have culinary specialties like baked potatoes on the menu.


What's the cycling crowd like around here?  Here being this area specific and WNY in general, I guess.  I know there's those races around the Cobblestone, is there anything else going into this theme?  Just an interest of the developer and identifying a market opportunity?  Curious.

Allen might be losing some business if there's going to be a lot of guys in bike shorts hanging out at the Hub Pub.  

David Steele

It is a shame that these had to be saved for something useful and interesting.  Another win for the obstructionists.  Think of that next time you can't find parking downtown. 


Those two images of the first floor spaces are what the units should be left to look like.  I know they're not calling them lofts here but I feel like "loft" gets thrown around a lot.  When I hear loft I think of Wayne Campbell's pad in Wayne's World 2,  like those two images: huge and left completely wide open.


Love the project.  Great inside photos too.  

But I have to ask, I see all the original plank flooring being covered by OSB as a subfloor for some other flooring material I would assume.  I was hoping that the OSB was only down to protect the plank flooring but it does not appear to be so.  Losing the original flooring in its entirety would be a loss for the aesthetic value of the restoration. (I realize it is not being removed but covered) From the above limited photos, it appears that the flooring is tight and solid.  

Nothing adds more character to an interior of an old brick building or warehouse than a restored original plank floor with its nicks, cracks, shading, and patina.  It is the first thing that is noticed when you walk in the door.


what's the timeframe on this?


Very, very nice!


Progress !!


@David Steele 

Once again you dont realize that most people here favor preservation, but we have common sense when it comes to it.

And yes, obstructionists do exist, even if you dont want to see it.



I agree, I was just thinking about that.  It appears from the apartment photo that everything is being covered.  You can see the metal studs covering the brick walls as well as all the ceiling spaces stuffed with the ubiquitous drop ceiling grid.  

The work by the contractor looks to be top shelf, but the design is somewhat of a letdown.  Granted it will look nice and tidy and just thrill some people, but the opportunities to incorporate an old industrial ambiance to the inside were missed on a big scale.  Even the corridors have a hotel feel in this early phase.  



not as charming, to be sure. But I'll bet it really cuts down on noise of footsteps to the apartment below.


There could be a structural reason they have to cover/replace it - it may have been beyond the point of a sanding and refinishing.



I agree with your generalization of "most" people here favoring preservation and common sense, but I don't see how that has much to do with Steele's mockery the  very vocal group, likely in the minority, that cheer demolitions and trash preservation.  Couldn't Steele realize that most people here do favor preservation and common sense preservation policies but still poke some light hearted fun at the pro-demo crowd?

Also, it looks like Steele is using the "obstructionist" label to mock a common battle cry of the pro-demo crowd.  It doesn't look like he is claiming obstructionism doesn't exist.   



Maybe so, but I doubt it on such a large scale.  Besides in one the the above pictures the flooring near the opening appears to be at least one inch thick with maybe a width of four inches over a well laid out floor/ceiling joist spacing with plenty of structural support beneath.

Kind of reminiscent of the old public school buildings.



its because he thinks the majority of people in buffalo call preservationists "obstructionists" and that any time something is saved, it's a punch in the face to most people.

His rhetoric is just tiresome.  Every comment has a sarcastic undertone and just seem childish.