“All I really want to do is just stabilize it and restore it,” Jemal said. “Whatever the market for the property at a later date will be, but the property just can’t stay there as it is. More than anything else, it’s a residential area, the kids go there and it is dangerous.”
His company has developed many properties in Buffalo. Among his holdings are the Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel, the Seneca One Tower, the Statler, police apartments and the former Mahoney State Office building, which he plans to convert into a boutique hotel. And he’s building a nine-story apartment and parking structure on a freeway loop parking lot. Last month, he was named the designated developer to transform the Mohawk Ramp, with plans for 200 apartments, 800 parking spaces and retail and dining space on the ground floor.
Jemal said he was confident that the Meidenbauer House could be restored despite its deteriorated condition.
“I’ve reconstructed buildings much worse than this, so it’s absolutely salvageable,” Jemal said. “And that’s great architecture, that’s what makes Buffalo special.”
The two-story, 5,400-square-foot house, which has earned local landmark status as part of the historic High Street, was built by a German malting family at a time when breweries were commonplace in the Fruit Belt.