Developer Douglas Jemal is buying another well-known downtown Buffalo building just a block or two from his Mohawk Ramp and Simon Electric projects.
Jemal confirmed that he is acquiring the Scherer & Sons Furniture building at 124 Genesee St. from the family that has owned and operated the classic solid-wood furniture business for more than 127 years. It’s now in the midst of a going-out-of-business sale.
Jemal did not say how much he is paying for the deal, which is expected to close in the next two to three months, but said it would likely be a cash deal.
“I love the building,” Jemal said. “There’s historic significance. It’s got a lot of potential. It’s a gateway site on Genesee.”
Jemal’s plan for the Scherer building calls for a combination of first-floor retail plus about 40 apartments upstairs in the 23,764-square-foot building. At about $200,000 to $250,000 per unit, he projected a development cost of about $20 million.
People are also reading…
“I think it’s a signature building,” Jemal added. “It’s part of our overall plan for a living downtown, to create some vibrancy downtown.”
Founded in 1897, the five-generation furniture business is known for its North American solid hardwood furniture, offering brands like Stickley, Kincaid, Hilltop Hickory, Amish, Superior, Howard Miller, Hekman, Wesley Hall, Gat Creek, Door Country, Urban Barnwood, McKinley Leather, Whittier Wood, Weaver, Sotline, Restonic and Bedtech. The business is currently owned by Fred Scherer III, 90, and his son, Jim, who plan to retire.
The Scherers are conducting a going-out-of-business sale at the store, which takes up the entirety of the four-story masonry building, next to the blue storage-container building housing Casa Azul, and just steps from Oak Street and the Catholic Health headquarters.
“Our family has poured heart and soul into this business and we’re immensely grateful for the unwavering support of our community for an amazing 127 years,” Jim Scherer said in a statement last month announcing the store’s closure.
The project would likely qualify as a historic preservation project, with state and federal tax credits. Among other historic features, Jemal plans to keep the giant industrial sliding doors between rooms that separate what were two structures originally.
“It’s a great element to the building,” he added.
He said construction would take about 18 months once work begins.
The site also has parking in a fenced lot next door. And it’s close to Jemal’s Mohawk and Simon properties, where he already plans to create 450 to 600 apartments over the next several years, along with retail space and additional parking.
The first phase of that venture, the redevelopment of the historic Burns building, is already moving forward, with the city already approving his project to create 65 new apartments.
Reach Jonathan D. Epstein at (716) 849-4478 or [email protected].
- Ashley Furniture Discount | $100 Coupon + $1100 Off
- More Memorial Day Sales Going on Now: Ashley Furniture, Mattress Firm and More
- Ashley Furniture joins Gardner White in old Art Van Furniture headquarters in Warren
- ASHLEY PARTNERS WITH RONALD McDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES NEW YORK METRO TO SUPPORT FAMILIES WITH SICK CHILDREN
- Ashley Furniture, Wayfair and more