Jonathan Bevilacqua knows his real estate world revolves largely along Transit Road in Amherst and Clarence.
“It is nice to have that presence along Transit Road,” said Bevilacqua, Bevilacqua Development L.P. managing partner.
Bevilacqua estimates that 90% of the 600,000 square feet in his company portfolio is in Amherst and Clarence, much of it centered around Transit Road. In a stretch starting near Klein Road and heading north towards North French Road, Bevilacqua may be the most prominent commercial developer. The company does have properties in Orchard Park, Dunkirk and Lockport.
And his portfolio is about to get larger.
Bevilacqua is negotiating to purchase a CVS Pharmacy retail property at Transit and Casey roads in Amherst for $3 million and then expand the property for a 12,000-square-foot retail center and a 4,500-square-foot retail center. In all, Bevilacqua may spend $5.4 million to buy the land and build. The project is more than 50% pre-leased before the first shovel of dirt is turned. Those tenants include the region’s first School of Rock, Feature Meals & Eatery and Kaylena Marie’s Bakery.
The developer is also looking at a 36-acre parcel at Transit and Miles roads in Clarence to build a complex of single-family homes, apartments, office space and retail.
“We wouldn’t be doing these if we didn’t feel there was a demand for it,” Bevilacqua said. “I’m fielding more calls than I have space.”
He said his focus is to fill his buildings with local, homegrown tenants that primarily need 5,000 square feet or less. His typical tenant leases about 2,000 square feet.
“It works for me because I’m a developer and not just a cash investor when it comes to real estate,” Bevilacqua said. “I’d like to think our portfolio is unique in that regard, especially with the type of tenants we go after.”
For example, in Orchard Park, Bevilacqua took the former 15,879-square-foot Carolina Furniture store at 3144 Orchard Park Road and spent $2.4 million retrofitting it for local retailers Pita Gourmet, Tom’s Pro Bikes and Buffalo Trim.
Bevilacqua said his company portfolio is composed of apartments and retail at 40% each and office at 20%.
“I find it is a sound strategy to be diverse,” Bevilacqua said. “The nature of most of our buildings is to be mixed-use and inherently diverse. To focus solely on any one thing will get you in trouble.”
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