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Are Stars Aligning for Trico Reuse?

"The Ice House"

With the news that The Krog Corp. has been granted exclusive rights to develop a hotel on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), perhaps in an existing building, pieces have been falling into place to flesh out a related rumor that has been circulating in Buffalo development circles for several weeks.  That rumor, repeated by multiple sources, is that a “developer” has been working up a detailed plan to reuse most of Trico complex at Ellicott and Goodell streets.  Krog only says it is looking at vacant parcels and reuse of existing buildings and has not said if Trico is on their list.

Krog, with their experience as a partner at the Larkin Center of Commerce — one of Buffalo’s rare buildings that’s actually larger than Trico (and not by a little) — is clearly not afraid to take on the reuse of a building with the size and legacy issues such as Trico.

The BNMC has backed off on plans to expand the Innovation Center onto the Trico site.  It’s a significant change from earlier plans.

BNMC was on the verge of applying to the City to demolish the Trico complex but was convinced to have further discussions about alternatives with the preservation community.  Representatives from Preservation Buffalo Niagara, members of Campaign for Greater Buffalo and others with preservation, architectural, engineering and redevelopment experience met to look at the structural and environmental reports and recommend reuse options.    A Trico Complex Redevelopment Feasibility Study was commissioned to assess existing conditions and potential redevelopment strategies.

Last November, BNMC officials announced intentions to seek a development partner to help preserve Trico building No. 8 but demolish the remainder of the complex to build a new facility designed to meet the needs of current and future tenants of the Innovation Center.  Today, plans for a second Innovation Center have shifted north.

Campus officials are now looking to acquire the City-owned parking ramp at Ellicott and Goodrich streets to construct a mixed-use complex that includes a parking ramp topped by office and incubator space.  The complex would by anchored by Albany Molecular Research Inc. that is expanding to Buffalo.  The firm will be temporarily housed at 847 Main Street that the BNMC is expected to purchase from Krog.

In exchange for selling 847 Main Street and giving up plans to redevelop the site with parking, hotel and commercial space, Krog has been given exclusive rights to develop a 100 to 120-room extended-stay hotel on the medical campus.  The company says it is looking at both vacant sites and conversion of an existing building.

That news aligns with the recent talk of a developer being interested in Trico, though it is unknown how much of the complex would be reused.  Multiple sources say the “interested developer” would save all but the Ice House along Ellicott Street, the oldest portion of the complex.  It remains to be seen if Krog is indeed that developer.


Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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