Former Buffalo Police HQ redevelopment takes next step

Doug Jemal project to have 130 apartments in Downtown Buffalo

Mike Baggerman
February 20, 2020 - 3:00 am
The Police (Photos via Buffalo Preservation Board)

The Police (Photos via Buffalo Preservation Board)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - One of the developments by Douglas Jemal takes another step towards completion on Thursday.

The former Buffalo Police Headquarters at the corner of Franklin and Church Street in Downtown Buffalo will head before the Buffalo Preservation Board during Thursday's regularly scheduled meeting. Jemal has called the development "The Police".

According to documents filed with the Buffalo Preservation Board, the art-deco style building will undergo a complete restoration. The exterior masonry will be cleaned and painted as part of its restoration to its historic appearance. The interior of the building will be converted to studio and one-bedroom apartments.

There will also be a two-story addition to the rear of the building atop the existing two-story "hyphen" between the two four-story wings that flank it. There will also be underground parking.

"We're working within the confines of the four walls that exist now," Jemal said. "It's approximately 140 apartments that are going in there and about 85 parking spaces."

He said there are no plans to have recreation on the roof.

Jemal hopes to have tenants there within 15 months of approval from the city. The redevelopment of the former headquarters will be done in a single-phase. It will be designed with federal standards in mind with hopes that Jemal can obtain state and federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

The housing development is just the latest piece of housing to come to Downtown Buffalo. Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen said he is supportive of housing in Buffalo and is hoping that many will be affordable ones.

The Police (Photos via Buffalo Preservation Board)
The Police (Photos via Buffalo Preservation Board)

"This is the time that Buffalo has waited for for a long time," Pridgen said. "To have developers want to develop in Downtown Buffalo. I can remember back some 20 years ago when this was unheard of: Putting more apartments in downtown and, second of all, people actually wanting to live in downtown."

Pridgen said he's not afraid of changes being made to the building so long as some of the original components of the former headquarters remain.

Jemal purchased the former police headquarters a year ago. The purchase followed his 2017 acquisition of One Seneca Tower, which now has tenants including M&T Bank. He also bought the Boulevard Mall last year.

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