Welcome to this week’s Seneca One Deep Dive! The team at Seneca One identifies exciting up-and-coming people, projects, and companies to dive into and share with our audiences. This week we’re soaking it all in with Connor Kenney, Development Manager of SAA| EVI.
BUFFALO, NY- Connor Kenney has seen a lot of progress working in commercial real estate and is very encouraged by the progress he sees here in Buffalo.
Kenney, a developer who currently oversees SAA | EVI’s projects in New York State and throughout the Great Lakes, double dips as a commercial tenant and residential tenant here at Seneca One, a place that he saw as an opportunity to grow alongside the city in this new economic adventure.
“It’s great. As you mentioned, I live in the building as well. I think it takes me two minutes to go from my apartment door to my office,” Kenney said. “Between that, the food hall, and the bar in the lobby – I don’t need to leave much. Douglas has done an amazing job breathing life back into the building and creating a product type that, frankly, did not exist in this city before he came.”
Kenney fell backward into real estate development. He was on the verge of going to law school until a family member who worked at the University at Buffalo told him about the school’s Masters of Science in Real Estate Development program.
This piqued his interest, and in 2017, Kenney finished the program and has since been working in Real Estate Development. He started his career as a Real Estate Developer at PathStone Corporation in Rochester, NY. He was responsible for developing affordable and mixed-income housing throughout PathStone’s geographic footprint during his time there.
In 2020, his development efforts led to closing on a $44 MM, 157-unit Low Income Housing Tax Credit deal at the former Irondequoit Mall just outside of Rochester. His success caught the eye of one of the Co-Managing Members SAA | EVI, David Alexander.
“David lives in Miami now, but he grew up in Buffalo. We have an office in Miami and Baltimore, but our company was founded in Buffalo,” Kenney said. “We thought it was very appropriate to have an office here. Ernst Valery and David Alexander, and Stuart Alexander before them, have done an awesome job building the company over the years. We have active projects in 9 states right now. That is not easy to do. I’m fortunate to be able to learn from them and grateful to them for trusting me and giving me a platform to do what I am passionate about. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together in the future.”
Kenney has embraced his return to Buffalo, calling Seneca One home. He conducts business on the 29th floor at Serendipity Labs, and then when he is done, he takes the elevator down the main lobby and makes his way to his apartment.
The ease of access and peace of mind allow Kenney to grow SAA | EVI here in Buffalo. He has also enjoyed returning to his hometown and soaking it all in.
“I grew up in Buffalo. My family is here. I can’t predict the future and where life might take me, but I will always come back to Buffalo,” Kenney said. “I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot personally, and I am usually out of town for work for a week every month. I’ve seen a lot of different cities. But Buffalo is a special place. There is no place like Buffalo.”
Kenney is proud of his city, proud to be here, and we look forward to seeing him continue on this successful trajectory.