October 4, 2022

Architect/developer Steve Carmina has put one of his prize downtown Buffalo commercial real estate holdings on the market.
Why? Call it the “Jemal factor,” with a heavy dose of “Cars Sharing Main Street” added in for good measure.
Carmina, through his Fifty Seven Gen LLC affiliate, has put the circa-1842 building at 5 Genesee St. on the market with a $1.45 million asking price. The listing, being handled by Hunt Commercial Real Estate’s Gunner Tronolone, went live Sept. 12.
The building, overlooking Roosevelt Square and almost across Main Street from the Hyatt Regency Buffalo hotel, is fully leased, with the Fattey Beer Co. at the street level and three apartments, two of which are multilevel units. The building is also one of the gateway properties into the 500 block of Main Street.
“It is a different 500 block than when we bought the building,” Carmina said, speaking of himself and partners Buffalo businessman Roger Trettel and Carmina’s cousin, also named Steve.
Carmina and his partners bought the 6,000-square-foot building in October 2013 for $25,000, according to filings in the Erie County Clerk’s office. The trio then invested more than $959,000 renovating the vacant building.
At the same time, Carmina bought a neighboring building and renovated it into his private residence. He moved from Lancaster into downtown Buffalo and then moved his architecture and engineering firm, Carmina Wood Design, to 487 Main St.
The 500 block of Main Street has transformed itself from an urban ugly duckling – one that was criticized by Tom Brady, among others – into a development hot spot.
Since Jan. 1, developer Douglas Jemal has bought four buildings along the eastern side of Main Street’s 500 block. He’s also spending more than $60 million to renovate the Hyatt Regency, which he bought in November 2021.
“Douglas and what he is doing is changing the face of the 500 block,” Carmina said.
Also helping is the completion of Cars Sharing Main Street, which brought vehicular traffic to East Mohawk Street. New tenants such as Noble Root Wine & Spirits (515 Main St.), the Flaming Fish (535 Main) and Graylynn (537 Main) have brought a “new vibe,” Tronolone said.
Selling the building was always in the back of Carmina’s mind.
“We were great stewards, but it is time to put the building in the hands of someone else,” Carmina said.
Carmina, who is also Buffalo Place Inc. vice chairman, says he remains committed to downtown Buffalo. He is keeping is residence there and keeping his firm on Main Street.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Carmina said.
• The Carriage House of Akron LLC paid $256,000 for a six-unit apartment building at 22 Buffalo St. in the Village of Akron, according to Sept. 14 filings in the Erie County Clerk’s office. The 4,801-square-foot building, constructed in 1960, had been owned by Christine Papke, Laura Young, Mark Young and Michael Young.
• The price tag for Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport has been dropped from $3.5 million to $2.9 million, according to Hunt’s Tronolone, who is handling the listing. Located at 521 East Ave., the 203,000-square-foot complex was developed in three phases, beginning in 1936 and with expansions in 1960 and 1980. Eastern Niagara is building a new Lockport hospital.
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