Statler City LLC's phased approach to redeveloping the Statler has State backing- to the tune of $5 million. That according to this morning's The Buffalo News. Funding from the NYS Economic Development Corporation is contingent on the City contributing $500,000 to help stabilize the building and redevelop the building's bottom three levels. The upper floors would be renovated in stages and would house a mix of uses under a plan unveiled Wednesday by Mark Croce and James Eagan.
From The Buffalo News editorial:
Dennis Mullen, head of the New York State Economic Development Corp., has said he will come up with $5 million in state funds if the mayor comes up with $500,000 from the city. The mayor, in a very responsible reply, said he needs more details, but is prepared to come up with the $500,000. That would be enough to stabilize the building, under a creative plan outlined by two local prospective buyers.
Buffalo is littered with great ideas that have resulted in half-finished and abandoned projects. We don't need another that leaves taxpayers holding the bag. In the past, the statement that it would take $100 million to save the Statler has frightened everyone.
The incremental approach proposed by Mark Croce and James J. Eagan -- backed by Preservation Buffalo Niagara -- is sound and comparatively cheap. They recognize that no building this size can be turned around overnight and have spent the past week reframing the debate.
Croce and Eagan are local businessmen with a track record of local investment. Croce, in particular, has a history of successful downtown restaurant and parking lot ventures that gives him a huge stake in the Statler's success.
Statler "Rudnicked"- renderings by Flynn Battaglia Architects.