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Ciminelli Signs New Tenant at Key Center

by Stephen T. Watson
Wed, Jul 1st 2015 08:00 am
The Buffalo News

Lippes Mathias will move its 80 or so total employees, including 46 lawyers, into the 16th and 17th floors of the north tower of the Key Center, at West Chippewa and Main streets, less than a quarter mile south of the firm's existing space at 665 Main St. The firm chose the tower because its partners wanted to stay downtown but sought space made for more efficient use, said Scott E. Friedman, its managing partner.

"We continue to grow and we needed space that was designed for a firm our size and for our clients," Friedman said in an interview Tuesday following a news conference that revealed the firm's plans.

When Lippes Mathias moved into 665 Main St. a decade ago, the firm had just 15 lawyers. As the firm began running out of room for its expanded workforce, it started last fall to sublease a portion of the building's second floor from the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, giving it about 24,000 square feet of office space, said Matt Chandler, director of marketing and business development for Lippes Mathias.

The firm has been in Buffalo for all of its 50 years and wanted to stay downtown as the city continues its revival, Friedman said, and the ongoing return of vehicle traffic to Main Street made Key Center an attractive location.

Lippes Mathias will take just under 24,000 square feet of space on the two floors of the Key Center's north tower. But the new offices will better fit the firm's needs because Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation, which manages the building, will gut the space and completely rebuild it for the purposes of Lippes Mathias, Chandler and Friedman said.

The KeyBank executives who now occupy the two floors are moving with the rest of the bank's employees from the Key Center into the new hotel and office complex being built at 250 Delaware Ave., at West Chippewa Street, for the headquarters of Delaware North.

The law firm's lease at 665 Main St. runs out in January and Friedman said he expects the firm to move into Key Center by the end of that month. The firm has a 15-year lease with the owner of Key Center, Key Success LLC, and the firm neither sought nor received any tax incentives as part of the move. 

The Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman law firm is moving from its Main Street offices to the Key Center.