BUFFALO, N.Y. — Back in September, the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation invited numerous developers to tour the long-shuttered grand train station.
It was part of a process to spark redevelopment conversations and receive requests for expressions of interest. The deadline for those REIs was October 14th.
Nearly a month later, it's unknown how many developers have actually submitted those requests.
2 On Your Side asked a Central Terminal staff member by phone for the specific number, but they wouldn't provide one, nor would they provide a ballpark figure for reporting purposes.
"We have a nice pool of development submissions to consider," said Executive Director Monica Pellegrino Faix.
WGRZ met up with Faix at the unveiling of the Terminal's "Seat at the Table," a unique community gathering space located on the great lawn of the property.
The unveiling was a collaboration with The Foundry. Members of the Foundry and its "making + manufacturing training program." Twelve students fabricated steel and wood tables, reminiscent of a rail yard, designed for the community to gather.
Faix says the invitation for developers was designed to ignite conversations about redevelopment possibilities as it pertained to the CTRC's master plan.
"We invited developers in to say, this is our vision, what creative ideas do you have that fit within this?" Faix said.
But when will redevelopment actually begin?
Faix says Terminal staff are hoping that requests for proposals could be issued by the end of the year, but it's looking like it will be early 2023 after a committee reviews the REIs.
"We have a committee that's going to shortlist and we will be issuing the second stage a request for proposals early next year," Faix said.
Meaning shovels in the ground won't be likely for even longer.
"It may be 2024," Faix said. "Just because for such a complicated building, we'll we'll start the design work into early next year."
Faix said the state, city, and other philanthropists have committed at least $61M for restoration efforts. Master plan estimates peg the full cost of reviving the Central Terminal at $300M.
That master plan, however, was released before the full scope of pandemic-related supply-chain issues, inflation, and labor costs could be realized. Estimates for a full restoration of the Central Terminal may be even higher.