The City of Buffalo has decided to sell the Market Arcade building in downtown Buffalo after receiving inquiries from potential buyers. The asking price: $1.8 million.
City officials said they have listed the three-building mixed-use complex at 615-617 Main St. through Christie R. Nelson, director of the city’s Division of Real Estate and a licensed broker.
The buildings, one of which has four stories, contain a total of 76,160 square feet of space, of which 53,634 can be leased, according to the Buffalo Niagara Commercial Listing Service.
Located in the Theatre District, the complex is owned by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, and includes office, retail and restaurant space. Tenants include Visit Buffalo Niagara, the 3,000-square-foot Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, Clinton Brown Company Architecture ReBuild PC, the nonprofit CEPA Gallery, Flynn Battaglia Architects and Perfetto’s Italian restaurant.
Brendan Mehaffy, director of the city’s Office of Strategic Planning, said the city decided to sell the building after several developers – both well-known and less prominent – recently approached Mayor Byron W. Brown, Mehaffy and others in the city administration about purchasing it. The city’s Cars Sharing Main Street project to restore two-way vehicle traffic to the thoroughfare outside the Market Arcade’s front entrance has also contributed to excitement around the building, he said.
“It’s time,” Mehaffy said. “There’s a lot of activity that’s happening downtown and several folks expressed interest in the building, so it’s time to list it.”
Mehaffy said the city hasn’t discussed detailed prices with anyone yet, but is “open to the offers that we’re receiving from folks at this point.”
“I wouldn’t expect that this is something that would be on the market for a while,” he said. “Because of the interest in downtown and the improvements on Main Street, there’s just been a lot of interest, not just in this property but all of the properties on Main Street at this point.”
Built in 1892 by G.B. Marshall and once known as the Palace Arcade, the Main Street mini-mall is one of the oldest existing structures in Buffalo that was designed by architect E.B. Green. It was later owned by flour miller G.B. Mathews from 1933 to 1942.
The building connects Main Street with the Washington Street Market. Its entry features an elaborate terra-cotta escutcheon with the head of a bison.
Arcades were popular in France and England in the 19th century, and the first arcade in the United States was constructed in Providence, R.I., in 1828. Green studied London’s Burlington Arcade before starting work on the Buffalo building.
“I’m sure I’ll have a few emails tomorrow,” Nelson said Monday, hours after the listing went up. “I’m thinking of other ways to market it, but I’m sure this is a property that I won’t have to do much to market. Word will spread pretty fast.”
The building has been marketed for lease for more than 10 years by Chris Malachowski of Hunt Commercial Real Estate, who has described it as an “eclectic” facility that “provides one of the most prominent and unique addresses in the city.”