Plans to Fill Vacancies In HSBC Tower | News
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- We're almost exactly a year away from the end of the lease between HSBC Bank and the Downtown tower that bears its name, so many people are working now to find tenants to replace HSBC in case the company leaves town.
Recently, Mayor Byron Brown (D-Buffalo) mentioned to 2 On Your Side that his Buffalo Building Reuse Plan should help fill vacancies at the HSBC Tower, so we wanted to learn more.
The mayor asked for the study from the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership some time ago, and has since committed more than $11 million to help fund its recommendations, which include infrastructure improvements, marketing and direct financial incentives to companies that move into vacant buildings.
HSBC currently leases 78%, or about 650,000 square feet, of the tower. HSBC is currently developing its strategic plans for future U.S. operations, and many speculate the company will further downsize its footprint in Buffalo.
In addition to worries over HSBC, the tower already lost or is about to lose some of its other tenants. Phillips Lytle law firm, the second largest tenant, will vacate its 86,000 square feet in the tower next year due to a move into the refurbished Donovan Office Building at Canalside. The third largest tenant, the Canadian Consulate, already left.
"Certainly I'm concerned about the (HSBC) Tower," Mayor Brown said Wednesday afternoon, quickly adding that the building was well-built and is well-maintained. He said plans are moving forward to fill any voids.
In addition to plans from the City, the owner of One HSBC Center, Seneca One Realty, is working with the nationally-recognized Urban Land Institute to develop a long-range plan for the building, which could include incorporating residential space in the tower.
"I think it definitely could go beyond the traditional office space," Mayor Brown said. "Mixed use makes a lot of sense. There is a growing interest in people living in the City of Buffalo, particularly living in Downtown Buffalo."
The chief operating officer of the tower agreed and said condos are certainly a possibility, noting the amazing views from the tallest building downtown. The executive added that the media attention surrounding possible vacancies has led to more interest in the building over the past year than ever before.