Submission by Timothy Horner:
If the Statler is to remain viable, and be restored, something unique is going to need to happen. It seems that most Buffalo developers lack either the money, or the desire to rehabilitate the Statler.
So, with that, here is a concept for the Statler:
The City of Buffalo “buys” the building, therefore forgiving all back taxes owed, and removing that debt. Under its ownership, The City files with the State Attorney General’s office to subdivide the building, making each floor of the building its own individual space, similar to a condominium arrangement. Each floor owner will own the space within their floor, as well as be a common owner to the building. 18 floors, and a maximum of 18 potential owners. Each floor owner owns 1/18 of the Statler and its common areas. There would be no restriction on how many floors an individual owner can own.
Under this structure, the City of Buffalo can invest the $5.3 million to stabilize the building, and be the “owner” of each of the 18 floors. From here, The City can sell each individual floor to others who have assets to develop each floor, but not an entire building. Croce can buy his 2 floors, and begin development. If a Wyndham, or other hotelier wants to put rooms in, they can purchase 3, 4, 5, or whatever floors, and do their thing. A condo or apartment developer wants to develop livable spaces… they buy a floor, and construct.
At a cost as low as $500,000 per floor, selling 18 floors would net the city $9 million dollars, an almost $4 million dollar premium over $5.3 million invested. In spending $1 million for 2 floors, Croce still has $2 million of the original $3 million he had planned to invest in upgrading the space. That’s a lot! Monthly/Annual assessments would be rendered for building upkeep.
Could it work?