BUFFALO, NY --
The General Service Administration has awarded a contract to lease space in the historic Hens & Kelly Building – currently the Mohawk Building, allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District offices to relocate the main district office.
The current campus located at 1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY has deficiencies that required researching locations outside the current footprint to build or lease new office space.
“Though we’ll maintain operations at Black Rock Lock, the District’s new headquarters downtown puts us closer to our local, state, and federal partners and will greatly enhance our ability to support the region. We’re also excited as this move will improve the quality of work life for 250 employees who will get to be a part of the downtown fabric and take part in all the activities the city of Buffalo has to offer.” said LTC Eli Adams, USACE Buffalo District Commander.
For the next 11 months, GSA and the Corps of Engineers will work to design the new location, followed by a 1-year construction phase. The anticipated date to occupy the new facility will late 2022.
Many options were considered during the process, including renovating the current campus, to ensure the most efficient use of taxpayer money. Due to deficiencies including space allocations, anti-terrorism/force protection requirements, and energy efficiencies, leasing space was deemed the least costly alternative.
The move to the Hens & Kelly building continues the District’s rich history in Buffalo dating back to 1824, when U.S. Army Theodore Maurice was sent to supervise federal engineer operations on Lake Erie. Following Captain Maurice, Major James Graham was permanently assigned as the areas first District Engineer establishing a fixed district office. The District has also occupied offices at Franklin Street, Morgan Building, Old Post Office, and Ellicott Square Building, before moving to the current campus in 1948.
The current campus will not close permanently. A few of the buildings will be renovated and a small portion of the workforce will remain to operate the Black Rock Lock, house labs, and the survey boat fleet.