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Residential units planned for Pierce-Arrow building

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

A Buffalo landmark will be getting a new use as home for 107 new apartments. It's a building familiar to most people who travel on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo: the Pierce-Arrow administration building.

Developer Joseph Hecht and Read Property Group plan to spend $30 million on the project. This structure is separate from the car company manufacturing buildings along Great Arrow.

"The building is perfectly sized for what we want to do with it. The layout is a simple layout. We aren't doing anything with it. We're not recreating the wheel," Hecht said.

"It's just the right amount for apartments to attract investors from out of town and if we can keep our costs down."

Hecht says there will be little commercial space in the building, instead relying on existing companies like those directly across the street. 

"I think it's great for the neighborhood," said Rocco Termini who developed a building on the other side of the Belt Line railroad tracks.

"The more people you bring into the neighborhood the more customers we have for restaurants and retail that's already existing in the neighborhood. So, the more people the better," said Termini, who transformed an old furniture store on Elmwood into the Foundry Lofts and the Foundry Suites Hotel.

Some developers and urban planners are convinced the area just north of Amherst Street is becoming the region's next "walkable community." Termini has referred to the neighborhood as "Pierce-Arrow Village."


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.