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DC developer closes deal to purchase One Seneca Tower

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Buffalo's tallest building has a new owner today, with Washington-based Douglas Development closing a deal to spend just over $12 million for the vacant 38-story One Seneca Tower.

CEO Douglas Jemal tells WBFO he will be reworking the barren concrete plaza surrounding the complex to connect it more fully to the waterfront and take advantage of the Thursday night summer concerts, which he specifically mentioned.

Douglas announced its intention to purchase the tower in mid-August. While the developer says it will take about six months to have a more complete plan, he says it will be a mix of retail, office and residential space.

Jemal says he likes old, big, empty buildings. In D.C., he has rehabbed and made a success of several giant warehouses put to new uses. The tower has only been completely vacant recently, but it was essentially vacated when HSBC and law firm Phillips Lytle moved out.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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