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New Central Terminal master plan-total restoration nearly $300M

The massive train station with that symbolic clock tower built in the 1920s is really the star. The Re-use options range from housing to film production.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There is another new master plan to help guide the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation in its quest to see the rebirth of the signature complex on Buffalo's East Side. There is plenty of optimism and ideas for its re-use. But also there are questions about how to pay for their vision for the terminal and its impact on the surrounding Broadway- Fillmore neighborhood.

The massive train station with that symbolic clock tower built in the 1920s is really the star. And the state, county, and city politicians sought its shade on a hot day.

There were plenty of speeches. However firm funding commitments are big questions with the latest architect-prepared master plan pegging total restoration and re-use costs tripling from 100 million up to now 275 or nearly 300 Million. dollars.  

New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes told 2 On Your Side that it's a worthwhile investment. Peoples-Stokes said, "I don't think there's any layer of government that represents the people that live in and around this community that should not be engaged in coming up with whatever resources we need to return this to its effective reuse."

But 300 Million possibly? we asked.

It's a valuable property. It's gonna add value to the economy of Western New York," Peoples-Stokes said.       

$100 Million from the state and taxpayers did go for the Historic Richardson Olmsted Campus but now there's maybe talk about a one billion dollar Bills stadium and other prospective projects.

 A savvy, savior developer like Doug Jemal who says he would love to tackle the terminal project might emerge. He was not at today's press conference and was not mentioned. 

What people may not realize is the property is actually a 60 acre plus or so complex with the Central Terminal. And the actual Central Terminal structure which could be restored is only about 12 of those acres. There's a lot here that people don't realize. For example, there's a 400 car underground parking garage underneath the entrance plaza right in front of the tower.

Paul Lang is the Chairman of the Board of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation. He pointed out "There's so many other cool spaces that are off the beaten path. The baggage building over here over my shoulder is five stories - 20 thousand square feet each so that's 100 - thousand square feet. And that's some of the information we now have."    

Re-use ideas range from restaurants to business incubator space for start-up firms to film production and even housing units. It's all to be determined and coordinated as the city and even rail companies own portions of the overall property.  

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