It looks as if the day has finally come for the Central Terminal. Stinson Developments has been named as the developer of choice for the historic landmark. Stinson is tasked with coming up with a plan to turn the complex into a center of commercial activity.
“We are certainly very excited to have named Stinson as the designated developer of the Buffalo Central Terminal,” said Mark Lewandowski of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation Board of Directors. “As stewards of this property, it’s important that we maintain the building’s storied history while working toward accurately restoring this gem on Buffalo’s East Side. We think, with the experience and passion of Harry and his team for the project, that they are perfect partners to take this next step forward in the Central Terminal’s restoration.”
Stinson’s track record going into the review stage of the development is impressive. The Canadian company has a track record of restoring/redeveloping large scale historic buildings, according to the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (CTRC). Two of the most notable properties are One King West and the Candy Factory in Toronto.
Stinson is angling to convert 600,000-plus square feet of the Central Terminal into a multi-use destination that will feature offices, residential, shops, event space, restaurants and a museum and gift shop. At adjacent City-owned 59 Memorial Drive, Stinson is planning market-rate townhouses as part of the comprehensive plan for the complex and grounds.
“It’s a spectacular building that everyone in Western New York knows about and is awed by,” said Stinson, whose background is in hospitality and events before he got into real estate development. “I’ve been looking at this building now for four years and have become totally entranced by it. Every time I show it to investors or clients in other projects, all they want to talk about is the train station. It’s timeless: anyone who walks into that concourse is wowed by it.”
Lending additional credence to the development is a bevy of heavy hitters that will comprise the development team, including:
- Project director Stephen Fitzmaurice – Coordinating the operations and restoration of the fabled Waldorf Astoria Hotel
- Carmina Wood Morris Architects
- Waterbourne Construction Advisers
- Bolton St. John government relations
- Cannon Heyman Weiss LLP
As this review process gets going, $500,000 in restoration works is currently underway, including roof repair, electrical upgrades and masonry work. Already, six additional historically accurate interior light sconces (lead image) have been installed within the terminal, signaling the building momentum that appears to be underway. The installation of the sconces was made possible thanks to volunteer hours put in by retirees of the Sheet Metal Workers Local #71 in Buffalo.
“We want to make sure we’re continuing to work on and improve the property in the short term, as we look for the best long-term solution for the Central Terminal’s future,” said Jim Hycner, Chair of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation Board of Directors. “The iconic concourse will always be public, and thanks to the amazing work of countless volunteers, we’ve accomplished a lot in the last year to make the property more accessible and available to the many people who come to visit from around the world.”
In 2016, a number of tours will be conducted, along with some events, rallies, shows, competitions, etc. To see the full schedule, visit buffalocentralterminal.org.
Photo: Central Terminal Restoration Corporation