June 29th, 2012
Buffalo Business First Reporter – Business First
An Art Deco-period building that sits at one of Buffalo’s busiest intersections has been acquired by Ellicott Development Co.
Ellicott Development, through its Deltup LLC affiliate, bought the Vars Building at 344 Delaware Ave. and a nearby parking lot for $5.525 million. Officials said the building’s tenants will remain on site.
The four-story, 30,000-square-foot building was put on the local real estate market last summer with a $2.8 million asking price. Besides the building, the property comes with an adjoining 12-car parking lot and a 63-vehicle surface parking nearby on W. Tupper Street.
Earlier this spring, Ellicott Development agreed to purchase the circa 1929 building, located at the corner of Delaware Avenue and W. Tupper Street.
“It is a solid investment property and a very solid corner,” said Alan Hastings, Hastings Cohn Real Estate president, who brokered the deal. “It fits in well with other investment properties in their portfolio.”
Ellicott Development also owns the Pleu Building at 361 Delaware Ave., just across the street from the Vars Building. Lawley Insurance is headquartered in the building.
The Vars Building and two lots are owned by 344 Delaware Avenue LLC, according to City of Buffalo Assessment Department records. 344 Delaware is an affiliate of the Brason family, which owns Willcare Inc. and several other related health-care companies.
The limited liability entity bought the building from the S.H. Gow Co. in April 1998 for $705,000, city records indicate.
Hastings said all of the building’s tenants including Willcare, Western Region Health Corp., Bracorps Inc. and Willis of New York Inc. are remaining. The building is nearly 100 percent leased.
“This is an investment deal,” Hastings said. “None of the companies are leaving the building.”
Hastings said because of its location and healthy tenant roll along with the secured parking lots, several buyers expressed an interest in the building.
The building was designed by the Buffalo architectural tandem of Duane Lyman and Lawrence Bley, the duo whose work dots Buffalo’s Delaware District including the Saturn Club and the 800 W. Ferry condominiums.
The building is named after the Addison Vars Advertising Agency, who commissioned the structure.