City officials in Olean were hoping that Carl and William Paladino might be willing to repurchase the old Manufacturers Hanover Bank Building in the heart of the downtown, but for the developers, it’s “been there, done that.”
The owners of Buffalo-based Ellicott Development Co., who have a long history with the seven-story landmark building, turned down the city’s outreach because they have too much else going on, William Paladino said.
The two-tone brownstone building at the corner of North Union and West State streets was previously owned by the Paladinos, who “bought it, sold it, got it back, and sold it again,” he said. At one time, there was talk with a partner, Olean businessman Louis Magnano, of redeveloping it into a boutique hotel, but not now.
“We have been asked about it, but at this point, we’ve sort of just said no,” he said. “We just have so many other things going on in our own backyard that to go down there, we just don’t have the time and resources at this point.”
Built in 1915 at 101 North Union St. and alternatively called the First National Bank Building or Park Centre Tower, Olean’s tallest building has been vacant for nearly 20 years.
It was acquired by Southern Tier Environments for Living in 2004 for $150,000, with hopes for attracting a bank or other commercial business or retail store to the first floor and either office space or apartments on the upper floors. Allegany-based Kinley Corp. was also slated to redevelop it.
But those efforts never materialized, and the building has suffered vandalism over the years, prompting city leaders to seek a solution. It is currently owned by the Olean Urban Renewal Agency, which is “still looking for a developer for the property at this time,” said Olean Mayor William J. Aiello.
- Jonathan D. Epstein