The future of downtown's largest building is uncertain. HSBC Bank has announced that it will leave the HSBC Center as of early next year.
The long-time anchor tenant will move employees out of the tower to its location at the HSBC Atrium on Washington Street downtown as well as its facility on Walden Avenue in Depew.
In a written statement, HSBC said it is committed to Buffalo and maintaining its operations at the Atrium and in Depew:
HSBC keeps its corporate real estate network under regular review to ensure it remains appropriate for the needs of our business. We are committed to Buffalo and following such a review we have decided to maintain our existing operations in the downtown Atrium Building and facility in Depew. From early 2013, HSBC's presence in the One HSBC Center will be wound-down and the building fully exited by October when our current lease expires.
All employees currently located in the One HSBC Center will transition to either the Atrium Building or Depew facility. In order to accommodate the additional employees at both facilities, we will be doing some renovations at both buildings which will continue throughout 2013. No job losses are envisaged as a direct result of this announcement.
HSBC employs 3,000 people in the region.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown issued the following statement in response to HSBC's decision to leave the tower:
“I just met with local officials from HSBC and I’ve been informed that the company will remain a strong private sector employer, and continue to have a significant employee presence in Buffalo and Western New York,” said Mayor Byron Brown. “With over 3000 HSBC jobs in Western New York, the Buffalo area will remain HSBC’s second largest employment hub in the country. I want to thank HSBC for its recommitment to our city by keeping its existing operation in the downtown business district and Depew, with no anticipated job loss as a result of its move from One HSBC Center. In terms of finding a new tenant to occupy downtown’s tallest building, we already have in place a number of strategic initiatives designed to attract new investment to the building and in downtown Buffalo, including the Buffalo Building Reuse Project, that have already generated interest from potentially new anchor tenants.”
Empire State Development regional president Sam Hoyt was recently asked about the uncertainty of the HSBC tower. He said talks had been underway with HSBC.
"It's part of a big problem having to do with vacancies in downtown Buffalo," said Hoyt.