Larkin Development Group

Rebuilding and restoring the architectural fabric of Buffalo, New York

About Larkin Development Group

Larkin Development Group (LDG) has been a leader in Buffalo, New York in the transformation of the city’s rich stock of buildings from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. into mixed-use developments. The majority of the company’s real estate holdings are in buildings that were once part of the Larkin Soap Company.

Larkin Soap Company: From Factory to Family

The Larkin Soap Company, in Buffalo, NY, was one of the most innovative companies of its time (1875-1940) selling products for the home from “Factory to Family”, manufactured and sold from their headquarters in Buffalo, New York. With the Larkin Development Group’s (LDG) purchase and restoration of the signature 600,000 sq. ft. Larkin at Exchange Building (former Larkin Soap Co. Terminal Warehouse) many of John Larkin’s original ideals, such as innovative work spaces, and employee amenities, have served as an inspiration to LDG in how they run their company and serve their tenants.

Managing Partner Howard Zemsky, along with partners Joe Petrella, Leslie Zemsky and the entire LDG team have lead the continuous renovation and management of more than a million square feet of office space in central downtown Buffalo and the Larkin District.

Larkinville Rising

Since 2002, the LDG has been transforming the Larkin District (now referred to as Larkinville) back to its roots, as a vibrant, mixed use neighborhood, home to offices, residences, restaurants, parks and other public gathering spaces. Their portfolio of real estate includes multiple buildings and property in addition to the Larkin at Exchange Street building along with Buffalo’s most innovative space for place-making, Larkin Square.

Larkin Development Group is also proud to support neighborhood revitalization through grants to local social service providers. Buffalo is undergoing a resurgence with an influx of new businesses, affordable housing, walkable communities, and a broad array of locally owned small businesses and restaurants. It is rich in recreational and entertainment options.

Future opportunities are available for leasing space in new or refurbished properties.

To learn more about the opportunities in Larkinville or the central business district, please contact:

Leslie Zemsky



Joe Petrella



Larkin District

The Larkin District has been undergoing a renaissance due to the redevelopment and revitalization of its buildings and streets. For generations the neighborhood has been home to businesses and residences.

Starting in 1827, “The Hydraulics”, as it was known at the time, took off as the center for business and commerce in Buffalo. The growth of the district continued with the founding of the Larkin Soap Company in 1876.

In recent times, many of the warehouses and buildings have been redeveloped and repurposed into multi-use spaces for commercial office, residential, restaurants and light manufacturing.

Starting in 2002, the Larkin Development Group has been at the forefront of the revitalization of the district, more affectionately referred to as Larkinville.

Through the initiatives of Larkin Development in partnership with First Niagara Bank, new streets, lights, signage and plantings have been implemented along Van Rensselaer and Seneca Streets. Additional projects have included the transformation of the Larkin U Building into commercial office space, the Schaefer Building into mixed-use office and residential space along with the Hydraulic Hearth restaurant and Larkin Square adding to the entertainment mix in Larkinville.

Today, Larkinville is thriving with the opening of breweries, distilleries, restaurants, public event spaces, office buildings and newly converted loft-style apartments in addition to being the home of Buffalo Fire Station ladder 5/Engine 32. Future opportunities include shovel-ready sites for new development along with historic buildings ready for redevelopment.

See a list of dining and services options in Larkinville

Central Business District

Larkin Development Group owns and manages several Properties in the central Buffalo business district. This includes the historic Root Building at 70 West Chippewa St. along with the recently built 598 Main St.

In the News

The resurgence of Larkin District has received widespread media coverage from local and national news sources. Click through the articles and watch a few videos to learn more about the resurgence of “Larkinville®” and the many events held here.

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