BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Canadian developer is moving forward with plans to not only redevelop Buffalo's Central Terminal, but build hundreds of townhouses surrounding it.
Developer Harry Stinson is calling it "Terminal City" and says it will convert a desolate part of the east side into a village with everything you need right there.
The Central Terminal Restoration Corporation owns Central Terminal's iconic concourse and tower. It has been searching for a developer to bring them fully back to life.
"It's such an iconic piece of history that if we can develop this in the right way, it's going to be huge for the neighborhood," says John Jiloty with the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.
Tuesday, the Buffalo Common Council awarded Stinson Developments, based in Hamilton, Ontario, designated developer status for 15 acres surrounding Central Terminal. That property is owned by the city.
The developer envisions building hundreds of town homes there with the proceeds in turn funding the restoration of the Terminal.
Stinson Developments now has six months to come up with a proposal that Jiloty says will respect the property's history.
"There's no real financial commitment on either side, and we'll just kind of see what takes shape over the next six months, and what that plan looks like, and he is the expert in redeveloping large scale historic properties into successful, you know, properties that do well by the neighborhood," says Jiloty.
An exception is the Hotel Niagara project which Harry Stinson took over in 2011. He agreed to sell it to the state for nearly $5 million earlier this year so it can be resold.
Stinson is the developer responsible for the restoration of the Candy Factory Lofts in Toronto a decade ago.
"The Candy Factory Lofts revitalized Queen Street West in downtown Toronto. A huge impact on the neighborhood," says Stinson in a promotional video on his company’s website.
The Candy Factory was the city's first major loft conversion project and covers a city block. Stinson has also successfully converted schools into lofts Hamilton.
Now, he wants to take on Central Terminal.
"What inspired us is simply the architectural wow factor of the building itself and the potential to make a destination hotel conference center not only of the main building, but then to develop the entire complex and surrounding land as a self-contained village," he says.
Stinson says plans for Terminal City also include a market and shuttle service to the medical campus, downtown, and the airport. He thinks the project would take a couple of years to complete. His team will be opening an office in the main building soon so you can stop by to offer suggestions and input before they come up with a concrete plan.