BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In a major shakeup of the Downtown Buffalo corporate footprint, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York announced Tuesday it is shifting its Buffalo headquarters from West Genesee Street to the revitalized Seneca One Tower at the foot of Main Street.
The move, which will take place in the spring of next year, will relocate 1,400 employees to floors 34 through 38 of the tower and bring two of the region's largest corporate names - M&T and Highmark - under one roof.
Highmark, which at the time was HealthNow, moved into 257 West Genesee Street in 2007 as part of a brownfield cleanup project that incorporated an history 1850 stone facade into the 430,500 square-foot building. The massive complex along the Niagara Thruway features seven and eight story wings connected by a seven-story atrium, and a 1,500-space parking garage.
The Seneca One Tower location will allow Highmark to "re-calibrate its office space, with room to grow its hybrid workfforce, and continue its long-standing commitment to the City of Buffalo," the company said in a release.
Highmark said its leadership team considered a number of options both in downtown and in surrounding areas - including staying on Genesee Street but dramatically reducing its occupancy - before deciding on the tower.
Douglas Development purchased the vacant, 1.1 million square-foot Seneca One Tower in 2016. M&T Bank brought the skyscraper roaring back to life in 2021 with the opening of its $58 million tech hub. It occupies 13 floors in the center of the tower.
M&T's presence allows for synergy with a number of other tenants including Odoo, Serendipity Labs, Lighthouse Technology Services, AML Rightsource and 43 North.
The massive 38-story complex also features 115 apartments, a plaza and an annex that's home to Other Half Brewing, which is planning to expand its footprint this year.