Larkin Center for Commerce experiences growth spurt

Feb 20, 2015

Larkinville in Buffalo continues to experience rapid growth. More and more, companies are selecting the downtown site to locate businesses.

Inside one of the newly redesigned office spaces in the Larkin Center for Commerce on Seneca Street in B uffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

With a cut of the ribbon, another company has settled into the Larkin Center for Commerce on Seneca Street as California-based Landmark Medical has established a Buffalo headquarters. The company is partnering with BlueCross BlueShield, offering enrolled members specialized around-the-clock patient care that includes house calls by doctors. 

Larkin Center for Commerce managing partner Jim Cornell says he was thrilled to welcome the new business.

"The Larkin Center for Commerce was  probably the least attractive building in Western New York the better part of 50 years," said Cornell.   

Inside the new offices of Landmark in the Larkin Center for Commerce.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Cornell credits the biggest of Larkinville's success to powerful business leader Howard Zemsky, who took a major risk on starting the growth. But in the past four years, Cornell and his partners worked to turn the industrial style building in class A and class B office space.

The approach is working. The building boosts a 67.5% occupancy rate two-and-a-half years ahead of projections. 

"We saw that Buffalo really needed another business center. We saw a lot of attraction to the idea of being here to how accessible it is with multiply Thruway entrances," said Cornell.

Cornell noted the former industry style building did bring some redesign challenges.

"The biggest challenge is renewing the legacy infrastructure system to the building," said Cornell. "Bringing the building up to current code standards."

Other business in the commerce building include M&T Bank offices, several local law firms and legacy tenants that have been in the building for over 30 years, conducting conduct light manufacturing and distribution. Cornell said that makes it it a multi-purpose, commercial building.