Douglas Jemal proposes $42M building next to Seneca One Tower

By James Fink
Buffalo Business First

Developer Douglas Jemal plans to build a $42 million, residential-anchored building next to Seneca One Tower downtown.

He cited a demand for more downtown housing and the desire to attract young professionals into the city’s core.

“I’ve found the demand for apartments is so strong, stronger than most realize,” Jemal said. “It’s time to turn parking lots into buildings.”

The "loop" parking lot on Pearl Street lot is located between the tower, which Jemal is revamping, and Pearl Street Brewery.

Developer Douglas Jemal has been active in Buffalo in recent years, overseeing updates to a number of downtown buildings. (Joed Viera/Buffalo Business First)

Jemal is expected to be named designated developer Sept. 24 by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, the city agency that owns the one acre lot that’s circled by I-190. The designation must be approved by the Buffalo Common Council.

Jemal is negotiating with BURA for the lot, which has an appraised value of $1 million.

The project named 61 Terrace calls for five floors of parking with about 500 spaces, and the upper four floors will have as many as 200 one- and two-bedroom units with panoramic views of Lake Erie, Canada and downtown. The parking ramp will exceed the height of the highway.

“The views will be so great,” Jemal said. “It will be dramatic, 360 degrees all around.”

Jemal said the building will be a separate development from his more than $120 million rebirth of Seneca One Tower, which has a mix of office space. The tower includes M&T Bank’s tech hub and 115 apartments that welcomed their first tenants earlier this month.

The Washington, D.C.-based developer also is renovating the former Buffalo Police headquarters into an apartment complex and earlier this summer bought the Statler City building from the estate of Mark Croce.

“My goal is bring more people to live, work and play into downtown Buffalo,” Jemal said.

Jemal said construction will start in early spring and take 24-30 months to complete.

This article originally appeared in Buffalo Business First.