BUFFALO, N.Y. — $100,000 has been offered by prominent Buffalo developer Douglas Jemal in his latest attempt to keep the Great Northern Grain Elevator standing after it was badly damaged in a December wind storm.
Jemal who previously offered to buy the building from owner Archer Daniels Midland, now says his only goal is preserving a "Buffalo icon."
"I don't know what ADM's plans are to do with the building nor do I really care, my only beef with the whole thing is that it be preserved," said Jemal during a phone call with 2 On Your Side Wednesday.
The offer is the same amount of money that ADM reported spending on 16 years of external maintenance when it applied with the City of Buffalo to have the building demolished. So far legal action by preservation groups like the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture, and Culture has prevented the city's permit from being released.
A recent ruling by a state Supreme Court Judge said the city correctly issued its emergency declaration but that decision is now being appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.
"I certainly respect the fact that the judge made his decision and I respect his decision. That being said I always felt that the building should be saved and could be saved and we all know if you leave something to deteriorate like that of course it's going to be a dangerous situation," Jemal said.
According to Forbes, Archer Daniels Midland's market capitalization is valued at over $35 billion.
When asked if $100,000 would be enough, Buffalo North District Council Member Joseph Golombek said, "I think it's a start."
Golombek is part of a new effort launched Tuesday by the Buffalo Common Council to also preserve the 125-year-old structure along the waterfront. On Wednesday Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the city's legal department was reviewing the resolution.
"Three weeks ago there were zero dollars on the table and now there's $100,000 you know I think that's worth continuing the discussion and seeing if there is a way we can salvage that property," Golombek said.
2 On Your Side reached out to ADM for comment but did not immediately hear back. Their response will be added to this story when/if it is received.