Developer/investor Douglas Jemal has added to his growing downtown Buffalo portfolio by acquiring a pre-Civil War era building that serves as key gateway into the central business district.

In a multi-party deal, Jemals Seeburg Building LLC paid $2.55 million for the Genesee Gateway complex located at 111 Genesee St. and 62. E. Chippewa St., buying it from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, according to documents filed April 25 in the Erie County Clerk's office. The Wendt Foundation bought the building from the Genesee Gateway LLC investment group, paying $2.55 million, according to the county clerk’s records.

The four-story, 62,904-square-foot Genesee Gateway building dates back to 1845 and was one of the first historic structures to undergo an adoptive reuse development process where the property was renovated and restored and brought back to life after sitting vacant for years.

Because of its location just off the Kensington. Expressway and Elm-Oak Corridor in downtown Buffalo, the property serves as a major gateway into the city’s central business district.

“Restoring it was a labor of love,” said developer Douglas Swift, who led the Genesee Gateway restoration effort more than 30 years ago.

Tenants in the building include the U.S. Passport Agency, the Wendt Foundation and the Salty Chef restaurant along with a trio of apartments.

Jemal will be keeping the building as a mixed-use property.

The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions Jemal has made in downtown Buffalo and specifically the area along the Ellicott Street spine within the central business district. Jemal has acquired the Mohawk Ramp, a series of properties formerly owned by Simon Electric Co., the former Century Theater parcel - now a surface parking lot, among other holdings in what is now called the “Electric District.”

In addition, Jemal has the recently-closed Scherer Furniture Inc. building at 124 Genesee St. under contract with the deal expected to close later this spring. The Scherer Furniture is just across from the Genesee Gateway complex.

“I see this as a win-win for downtown Buffalo,” Swift said.

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Gallery Credit: J.R. Militello Realty, Inc.

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