BUFFALO, N.Y. — It has been a long journey for the redevelopment of the Trico Building.
Back at his state of the city address in 2015, Mayor Byron Brown praised Peter Krog and his plans to convert the abandoned manufacturing space.
"Thanks to Peter Krog, Trico is being transformed into two hotels, residential apartments, offices, and research space that will create 150 jobs," Mayor Brown said.
Since then, a lot has changed. The Krog Group moved on to other projects after pushback from the preservation community but ultimately bought the building from the city of Buffalo in 2017 for $35,000.
The plan was to open hotels and apartments in the space by the end of 2018. Krog says there were some delays, but construction eventually began in 2019, but the pandemic put an end to that.
"The banks pulled our loan, which we already had a considerable amount of money into the project pulled alone," Krog said. "Because of the hotel component, and COVID, we ended up taking the hotel component out."
The project has now shifted to entirely apartments and limited commercial space, about 60,000sq/ft, out of the 500,000 available.
The Krog Group has also taken on a partner familiar with the apartment landscape, Bruce Wisbaum.
"We're not in the apartment business, we're in the construction business," Krog said. "[We] took Bruce on as a partner to manage the apartments and follow through with it."
Wisbaum has multiple apartment projects across the region, and told 2 On Your Side that he jumped at the opportunity to help develop the "gateway into the city."
"This is a signature project to redevelop and reimagine the Trico Building," Wisbaum said. "The chance to build 242 apartments in the city of Buffalo was very exciting for us."
The new plan calls for apartments ranging from studio to multi-bedroom, between 600sq/ft and 2,000 sq/ft. Wisbaum said studio apartments will be available for $1,200 per month.
"We're close to Shea's, the theater district, and the transit system," Wisbaum said. "You're close to the thruway, you're right on the Kensington expressway to the airport."
But the project has escalated in price, substantially, since construction was halted in 2020 due to the pandemic.
"We spent a long time trying to get this financed, the price included crease from roughly $77 million to $112 million," Krog said.
In January the ECIDA granted the project $3M in tax breaks. Additionally, the project received incentives from the city of Buffalo as well as brownfield cleanup funds.
Krog and Wisbaum believe that some tenants could move in towards the 3rd quarter of 2023, but they expect the project to be completed by 2024.