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Profile: Laurence Glazer

Laurence Glazer

Laurence Glazer

This story appeared in the RBJ’s commemorative 30th Anniversary section. See more content related to the RBJ’s anniversary here.

It is hard to look around downtown Rochester without seeing the touch of Laurence Glazer. The impact of his work stretches from the redevelopment of the Midtown site to the former Genesee Hospital and to an array of other projects.

Glazer, the CEO and managing partner of Rochester-based Buckingham Properties LLC, and his wife, Jane Glazer, died in September 2014 when the private plane they were traveling in to Naples, Fla., crashed off the coast of Jamaica. Jane Glazer was founder and CEO of QCI Direct, a catalog and online consumer products company.

Larry Glazer was inducted in 2006 into the Rochester Business Hall of Fame. Jane Glazer was selected in July 2014 as part of that year’s class.

Buckingham Properties’ diverse portfolio includes office, industrial, retail and residential properties totaling some 10 million square feet, as well as 200-plus acres of development land. Buckingham has completed notable projects in the Greater Rochester region, including Tower280 at Midtown, Edge of the Wedge and Buckingham Commons.

Glazer grew up in modest circumstances in a North Buffalo neighborhood of unassuming two-family homes. He earned an MBA from Columbia University and worked for a while in finance in Manhattan before marrying Jane Lovenheim, whose family owned the commercial printing firm Great Lakes Press.

In 1970, Glazer went to work for the printing company. He ended up as CEO, a position he held until 1983, when it was sold to Case Hoyt Corp. for some $46 million.

He got his start in real estate in 1970. Local attorney Harold Samloff, an acquaintance and sometime tennis partner, approached him with a deal to buy into a five-unit apartment property on Buckingham Street. Samloff, who already had a partner in a Buckingham Street rental property, wanted to buy a second building. His partner was not interested, so he called Glazer, who was game and sank $1,000 into the deal.

Neither Samloff, who retired from Buckingham nearly 11 years ago, nor Glazer initially saw the real estate venture as anything more than a sideline that might provide some retirement income.

Over the years, the company grew, as did Glazer’s reputation for working to revitalize downtown. He has been referred to as Rochester’s patron saint and some have dubbed parts of the city “Glazerville” because of the number of his investments there.

Over the two years prior to his death, Glazer had become involved in projects in the city totaling some $134 million, with more than 600,000 square feet of office and retail space available, as well as more than 400 residential units. Those projects included:

  • The 460,000-square-foot Bausch & Lomb Inc. building;
  • The Tower at Midtown;
  • The 16-acre Alexander Park North;
  • The Edge of the Wedge; and
  • Xerox Square.

The Glazers were philanthropists whose support had an impact on organizations ranging from the Jewish Community Center to WXXI Public Broadcasting.

Buckingham ranked first on the most recent Rochester Business Journal lists of real estate developers and property management firms. The company currently owns and manages more than 60 properties comprising over 10 million square feet of rental space. The company has 79 employees.

The Glazers’ son, Kenneth Glazer, is managing partner of Buckingham.

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