BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –He’s done big projects before, and now he’s setting his sights on Buffalo’s Central Terminal.
Toronto developer, Harry Stinson has a plan to restore and use all of its half million square feet. He wants to use the tower for apartments, and the sprawling floor level for events and hospitality. “We have no intention of knocking anything down. In fact, we want to use it as it is to have as much public access.”
He knows it will cost tens of millions, but he’s done it before, transforming an old school into loft apartments, and building condos above a historic building at One King West in Toronto. He believes his Terminal City plan will turn around this East side neighborhood.
Buffalo’s Central Terminal was built in “art deco” style in 1929. At its peak in the 1940’s and 50’s, more than two hundred trains came through the property each day. Soldiers went off to World War II, and came home to long hugs inside.
Stinson said his plan is economically viable even without public loans, grants or incentives. “So, if they’re there, I’m more than happy to accept them.”
“It’s about time.” said Marty Biniasz, a member of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.”We’re so close to Larkinville and what’s happening the First Ward, and you can see those projects outside our front door. Sooner or later that whole rebirth of buffalo’s gonna be in Broadway-Fillmore, and Central Terminal’s gonna be the anchor.”
This can only happen if the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation allows it. These are the people who have owned it and kept it standing for the past eighteen years.
“We’re gonna sit down over time here.” said CTRC President Mark Lewandowski. “We’d like to think when it’s all said and done, after the building gets developed that the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation will still be a part of this.”
Stinson says what comes next is “six months of long boring meetings” with the CTRC to fine tune a specific plan that both sides are comfortable with.