BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As The Buffalo News first reported Tuesday, Uniland Development Co., the Amherst-based developer that planned to buy the newspaper’s building on the corner of Washington and Scott Streets, has backed out of the deal.
The company agreed in September to buy the 160,000 square foot space for just over $9 million.
However, three months after Uniland agreed to buy the building, Washington developer Douglas Jemal’s Douglas Development Corp. purchased the HSBC Atrium building, which contains 300,000 square feet on the other side of Scott Street, for $9 million.
Uniland notified Lee Enterprises, the Iowa-based parent company of the newspaper, of its decision on Monday. Lee purchased the paper in January 2020 and the newspaper has been in its current location for half a century.
Lee will now look for another buyer for the building. In September, The Buffalo News reported that Uniland is “exploring a variety of uses” for the building, which sits in prime territory in downtown Buffalo, walking distance from KeyBank Center, Sahlen Field as well as several restaurants.
Last week, the outlet said that Lee was planning on moving the paper’s print operations to Cleveland, a move that would affect 160 jobs and close the print and production building. Lee could package all of the properties together – the office building, the print and production building and a parking lot. The News said that adds up to 6.25 acres of land.
“After careful Due Diligence, at this point in time we have decided not to pursue the purchase of the former Buffalo News building at 125 Washington Street. It’s always difficult when a project we believe in and work so meticulously on doesn’t come to fruition,” Uniland spokesperson Ryan Weisz said in a statement to News 4. “Unfortunately, the market demand for large, downtown office space remains soft. To add another 150,000 square feet in capacity does not make sense at this time, and the proper decision was to end the process. We remain dedicated to downtown Buffalo, and are committed to its future success.”
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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.