In 1958, Bernard I. Obletz founded what became First Amherst Development Group after acquiring several buildings in key Buffalo, New York suburban locations which would serve as the foundation for future growth of First Amherst. Today, Benjamin N. Obletz continues the company’s legacy as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Over the years, First Amherst continued to expand their property holdings and successfully developed a variety of retail, office medical and multi-family properties throughout the suburban markets of greater Buffalo. Often a pioneer in development over the past 60 years, First Amherst has been at the forefront of many Western New York commercial and residential developments.
First Amherst’s expansion and pioneering efforts were widely publicized for its successful redevelopment of the Elk Terminal warehouse complex, located in the Cobblestone District of downtown Buffalo. The Lofts @ Elk Terminal, home to nearly 100 apartments, is credited with being the first warehouse residential loft conversion project in the greater Buffalo area. First Amherst and The Lofts @ Elk Terminal were presented with the Fernbach Award for the aesthetic improvement of downtown Buffalo.
In addition, First Amherst’s innovative development efforts also produced the award-winning Granite Works project. The Granite Works was the first mixed-use historic redevelopment in downtown Buffalo and is considered by many to be the “gold standard” for re-use and historic preservation in the region. The Landmark Society of WNY presented First Amherst with the Pewter Plate Award for Exemplary Preservation Leadership in recognition of the successful Granite Works project. The Granite Works was also awarded the Brick-by-Brick Award for Best Residential Redevelopment Project.
First Amherst continues to expand its portfolio with new development projects and acquisitions. Our innovative approach to development and tenant satisfaction built our company’s reputation over the past sixty years and remains the catalyst by which we continue to build our future.