Thursday, July 31, 2014

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HSBC to vacate tower

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Buffalo: HSBC to vacate tower
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A week after more than 400 HSBC jobs were spared, the company announced it would be vacating one of the most recognizable sights on the Buffalo skyline. YNN's Meg Rossman has more on the company's plans to leave One HSBC Center and what it will mean for more than 3,000 local employees.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — "You've got that tower and what are they going to do with it," The Irish Times owner Marie Stachera asked.

That was the million dollar question Wednesday, hours after HSBC officials announced they'll be vacating downtown Buffalo's tallest building.

"I don't know what's going to happen with the tower itself but it certainly creates a huge hole in the real estate market in downtown Buffalo," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

And likely add to the growing hole in the wallets of local business owners like Stachera.

"With the Canadian Consulate leaving and now HSBC is closing down, it's almost empty over there,” Stachera explained. “It's having a huge impact on my lunches."

According to HSBC officials, the company will begin vacating the building early next year with plans to completely vacate One HSBC Center when their lease expires in October 2013. Despite the move, however, they aren't anticipating any layoffs as a result.

"They're just going to be moved to other locations in Erie County, whether it's the Atrium Building downtown or the Depew location,” Poloncarz explained. “But I am very worried because hundreds of thousands basically of square feet of office space are going to be popping up on the market."

Whether a new tenant will step up to the plate remains to be seen.

Wednesday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown issued a statement saying in part:

"…We already have in place a number of strategic initiatives designed to attract new investment to the building and in Downtown Buffalo…"
Among those is the Buffalo Building Reuse Project, though Stachera has some ideas of her own.

"Whether it's helping them with parking or cheaper rent, they have to do something to get people into the city."

Law firm Phillips-Lytle previously announced it would also be vacating the tower in 2014.

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