BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo's tallest building will soon be without a main tenant, and without a name.
Starting this week, the HSBC signs and logo will be coming off the 38-story downtown tower. In another eight weeks, all HSBC employees will be moved to the HSBC Atrium or the bank's Depew offices.
The tower was built in 1972, and until 1994 bore the name of Marine Midland Center. Since then, it's been the HSBC Tower and is currently at 92 percent occupancy. But by the end of October, around 2,000 HSBC employees will be gone.
By mid-November, Phillips Lytle Law Firm, the next largest tenant, will leave another six floors empty when they move their offices to the former Donovan Building just down the street. And by the end of the year, only five percent of the building will be occupied.
Seneca One Realty operates the tower. Chief Operating Office Steve Fitzmaurice says, "For years, we were the bookend for downtown Buffalo, and now across the street here you have $250 million worth of development, some of which is public sector, but most of which is private sector, which is very encouraging."
The New York City investors who have owned the tower for the past eight years still owe $75 million on it.
"There has to be some sort of reconciliation between the lender and the owners," Fitzmaurice says. "Exactly how that happens is a very complicated question and I can't really tell you how that will all be worked out."
Ahmed Alehedehri has run the snack shop in the lobby for 14 years.
"I'm going to stay here until the end of the year, and we'll see what's going on. Maybe some company will come in because it's like, this is a huge building in downtown, and I don't think they're going to leave it empty," he said.
An Urban Land Institute advisory panel has suggested making the building mixed use, with office space as well as potentially public access availability through banquet rooms, an observation deck, residential apartments and condos, hotels and retail space.
If you're interested in taking a tour of the tower, including the roof, visit their website and send an e-mail to the address at the bottom of the page.
State Police need your help finding a missing woman last seen leaving M&T Bank on Main Street in Clarence this past Monday.
Police in Lockport say they have taken action after a threat was posted on a social media site from a student threatening to bring a gun to North Park School.
State Police are thanking News 4 viewers for helping them locate a man who allegedly hit a mother with his pickup truck as she loaded her two children into her vehicle and then fled the scene.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
Nushawn Williams is still being held under the state's civil confinement law. He returned to court Thursday where a judge will soon rule on the type of restrictions Williams will face.
The robberies happened between August and early November. Prosecutors say all three used notes threatening the use of weapons.