BUFFALO, N.Y. - Seven homes with royal cachet are for sale in Erie County as the Canadian government closes its Buffalo consulate.
The Buffalo News reports that the homes are owned in the name of "Her majesty the Queen in right of Canada."
They include two mansions and two waterfront condominiums and were used by top officials posted to the Buffalo consulate, which is closing on Monday.
Broker Cristen Gregory of Nothnagle Realtors says her office has been getting a lot of calls asking "Can I present my offer to the Queen?" One home, in suburban Amherst, is already under contract to sell.
The mansion that was the official residence of the consul general is assessed at $800,000.
The Canadian government has retained companies to sell off the furniture and other items in the homes.
Canadian officials said work done at the consulate will now be done online or at the New York City consulate.
The closing of the consulate leaves two floors with 36,000 square feet of office space vacant in One HSCB Center in downtown Buffalo and puts 75 people out of work. Forty-five of those employees lost their jobs in June and a number of others have left over the past month as their work was phased out.
Elected officials and business leaders in Buffalo protested the closing, announced in May, arguing that cross-border trade was too important for Ottawa to abandon the region. Chris Johnston, president of the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, told the News that a lot of commerce was generated by the connections forged through the consulate.
Canadian officials told Erie County officials and business leaders last week that two employees will be posted in the area after the consulate closes to handle trade and intergovernmental issues.
One financial benefit of the closing is that once the Canadian government-owned homes are sold, they'll return to the local property tax rolls.
- Politics & Government