|Computer Task Group puts Knox Mansion up for sale |
The historic Knox Mansion is owned by Computer Task Group, which has been considering its sale. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
By Jonathan D. Epstein
Published November 2, 2016
Updated November 2, 2016
Computer Task Group is putting the Delaware Avenue mansion that serves as its headquarters up for sale along with an adjacent building, seeking to capitalize on the burgeoning real estate market in Buffalo while consolidating its workforce into a single building elsewhere to lower expenses.
The Buffalo-based global technology staffing and services company has hired Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. to market the Knox Mansion at 800 Delaware Ave. and another building at 700 Delaware, which together house the company's headquarters and administrative operations. The buildings, which date to 1918 and 1957, respectively, are owned by CTG, which is seeking $6.5 million for the two of them.
The company, which previously revealed in June that it was considering such a step, is seeking to save money by bringing its operations together under a single roof. The company last month posted its second quarterly loss in the last three quarters, as revenues plunged 16 percent amid cutbacks by the firm's clients, while accounting write-downs and severance costs outweighed a slight operating profit.
It had previously put the mansion up for sale a year ago, through Cushman & Wakefield affiliate Pyramid Brokerage Co., but got no takers in the end. Its former CEO, Cliff Bleustein, had suggested in June that it would use the 700 Delaware as its consolidated base, but now it appears executives have decided the company would do better by selling the two prime pieces of real estate, which are close to downtown Buffalo. Bleustein was succeeded in July by Arthur Crumlish.
The Knox Mansion is on the market for $3.3 million, while 700 Delaware is up for $3.2 million. If both buildings are sold, it will initiate a search for a completely new location.
“Buffalo’s real estate market is very strong, as has been evidenced by its resurgence over the last few years,” said Robert G. McDonnell, a senior vice president at Ciminelli. “We anticipate the interest in both buildings will be substantial. Each of the properties is in excellent condition and could potentially serve in a capacity other than office space. We will be marketing them both quite aggressively.”
Built in 1918, the Knox Mansion was built for Grace Millard Knox, widow of Seymour H. Knox, who founded and owned the S.H. Knox Co. five-and-dime stores and later served as vice president of Woolworth Co. and chairman of the board of Marine Trust Co., later HSBC Bank USA. Designed by prominent architect Charles Pierrepont H. Gilbert and constructed at a cost of $600,000, the French Renaissance-style house originally had 25 rooms, and is about 48,000 square feet in size. It was owned by the family until 1969, when it was acquired by the Montefiore Club, a private men's club. CTG bought it in 1978, and has occupied it since.
The other building, a three-story office building one block away at 700 Delaware, dates to 1957, and has 44,880 square feet. Both have parking.