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Out to Bid: Trico Reuse Project

The Board of Education cancelled plans for a second Emerson School of Hospitality in the Trico complex but Krog Corp. is apparently moving forward with its $90.5 million redevelopment project. The first package of work has been put out to bid.

Krog beat out a handful of developers that proposed locations for a second Emerson School in April with plans to be ready for students in fall 2018. The school district terminated its agreement with Krog in early December citing a lack of progress however. The developer has not officially purchased the site from Buffalo Brownfield Restoration Corp., a quasi-public agency, but contractors have been working on asbestos abatement. Krog has asked the district to reconsider its decision.

The new Emerson School was seen as an anchor to Krog’s mixed-use vision utilizing 85,000 sq.ft. of space. Also proposed are a 114-room extended stay hotel operated by Hart Hotels, apartments, 100,000 sq.ft. of commercial and retail space, and indoor parking for 300 cars.

Key to the project’s success is selective demolition work including the Ice House along Ellicott Street, the oldest portion of the complex.  Demolition will create a courtyard and drop-off area while reducing the size of the floor plates and bringing natural light to the building’s interior.

Stabilization of the core and shell of the complex is now out for bid. Future phases of work will be bid as the project develops.


Though other developers floated ideas for reuse of the site, Krog stepped up with a solid reuse plan. Krog is a partner at the Larkin Center of Commerce, a complex actually larger than Trico. Vacant since 1999, the Trico plant was placed on the State Historic Registry in 2000 and the National Historic Registry in 2001.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • Ra Cha Cha

    Has anyone heard from Preservation Buffalo-Niagara on this? Last year, when they hired a new executive director, I worked with her to reconvene the Trico Roundtable, that had been suspended for a couple of years by their previous leadership. We had a meeting, promises were made, next steps were identified, and at the end of the year they listed the relaunch of the Trico Roundtable as one of their 2015 accomplishments. But we haven’t heard anything since then. Earlier this year I reached out to PBN about Trico and the roundtable, but didn’t get a response. Not sure what to make of this.

    • G Orty

      Why should PBN have anything to do with this project at this point? Work is going on already on site and the project is moving forward as-is with SHPO approval, despite Buffalo Schools being their usual dysfunctional selves. It’s not clear just what function they have on developer projects like this.

      • Ra Cha Cha

        It’s self evident in my comment: PBN convened a roundtable related to the Trico project. So, by definition, they consider those they so convened and so engaged to be stakeholders. When you convene and establish a roundtable of stakeholders, you keep the roundtable engaged and informed. That’s Organization 101 and Professionalism 101.

        But as I said, in over a year, the roundtable has neither met nor heard anything from PBN. This article and your comment are more information about Trico than PBN’s Trico Roundtable has gotten. Stakeholders, by definition, should be kept engaged, and NOT be kept in the dark.

        Maybe, as you say, someone at PBN thinks there’s nothing further “to do with this project at this point.” But if you’ve convened a roundtable of stakeholders, those stakeholders need a voice in that decision. Or, at the very least, to be informed of it. Again, that’s Organization 101 and Professionalism 101.

        But that’s not happening here. Hence my comment.

        • harlan

          How are you a stakeholder in the Trico building?

          • Ra Cha Cha

            For the second time now I’m starting a response thus: the answer to your question is self-evident in my original comment. PBN has a roundtable related to Trico. I’m a member. So with respect to PBN, that makes me a stakeholder in regard to Trico. Because I’m a, you know, *member* of a, you know, *roundtable* that PBN, you know, *has*. Q.E.D.

            Going back to 2011 and 2012: after their original push to demolish Trico blew up in their faces, BNMC convened a roundtable to develop alternative plans. I was part of their roundtable. After BNMC decided to pursue another option in late 2012 and ended their roundtable, PBN decided to continue the roundtable under their own auspices, and did so for a time. The rest is in my original comment.

          • harlan

            So in fact you are NOT a stakeholder in the building. You are not an owner nor evidently a prospective tenant. I doubt that you even live near the Trico building. So in effect you are a self appointed stakeholder with seemingly no relevance to the Trico project. Thanks for clearing it up.

          • Ra Cha Cha

            So in fact my comment was NOT about being “a stakeholder in the building” — as I tried to clarify for you, since you seemed to have misread it. Note that my comment does NOT say any version of, “Gee, how come I haven’t heard from the developer (building owner, City, etc.) about this?”

            So in fact PBN DID convene a stakeholders’ group, made promises and representations, and not only hasn’t followed through, but has kept the stakeholders that they convened in the dark. But I said all that already.

            But regarding being “self-appointed” with “no relevance”: again, you seem to be reading what you want regardless of what I write. I was appointed by others, for reasons.

          • bufguy

            BNMC gave up their option as developer in favor of the Krog group. They set up the “roundtable”. Since they are no longer involved and Krog has control of the property with an approved plan from the City, SHPO and the ECIDA I don’t see why you see the need for the “roundtable”

          • Ra Cha Cha

            For the THIRD time now: this is self-evident in my original comment, and my two subsequent replies to other commenters. You’re replying to one of those replies, so one would assume you’d take the time to read it, clearly. My comment doesn’t address “need” for a roundtable. Why? Because, as stated, that was already established by others: at one time by BNMC, and subsequently — twice — by PBN.

            AGAIN: my comment is about what happens when an organization establishes something like a roundtable, and makes commitments, representations, and promises. AGAIN: following through, keeping commitments, keeping promises, engaging stakeholders, and responding to inquiries are Organization 101 and Professionalism 101.

          • bufguy

            Maybe you are the dense one since three separate people have questioned your insistence in gathering at a “roundtable”….Krog is in charge…The organization that established the “roundtable” has no authority…It’s Krog’s table….

          • Ra Cha Cha

            Really? If you haven’t noticed, it’s not at all unusual on here for commenters to not actually read articles or others’ comments before responding, or to not read carefully or completely, or to just be intentionally obtuse. Which is what you’re doing by continuing to insist that I insisted on something upon which I didn’t insist — despite me carefully walking you though the distinction and difference that you seem unwilling to acknowledge.

            I clarified once, but if you’re going to disregard it — AND be insulting — that’s it.

      • BlackRockLifer

        “Despite Buffalo Schools being their usual dysfunctional selves” What does that mean?

        • G Orty

          The regular infighting of the school board, inability to reach contract agreements, etc…

  • Doug Wallis

    If TRICO and PIERCE ARROW are getting off the preservation list and redeveloped then that leaves the Statler and AM&As as the last “large” historic buildings downtown. Whats left after those get developed?

    After that, I think Buffalonians have to take a very serious look in the mirror about how they are going to brand their city and what kind of buildings they want to get built? It would be a shame to infill the remainder with modern and contemporary. Buffalo would be smart to build a mix of high quality infill touches on multiple architectural styles from classic period buildings to modern. People should be able to look at Buffalo and identify our city. We haven’t come that far yet which is why we need to ask the questions. Otherwise we will turn into a cheap bland sunbelt city with nothing special about it.

    • Mr. B

      You’re contradicting yourself, ChristieLou.

      You went from

      “It would be a shame to infill the remainder with modern and contemporary”

      to

      “Buffalo would be smart to build a mix of high quality infill touches on
      multiple architectural styles from classic period buildings to modern
      .

      .

      • Doug Wallis

        No contradiction at all Mr. B. I’m merely stating that Buffalo should play off the assets of its golden age to give itself a national and global brand. As our city moves forward period buildings should be included in the mix of infill. Its not an either or. 500 Delaware is an example where period architecture was incorporated into a modern building. Other cities keep or rebuild the period façade but put a contemporary/modern tower behind it. It could be combined, it could be a period façade, it could be contemporary, it could be modern. Buffalo would be far better off with iconic buildings that create a streetscape and a skyline that is recognizable…and that plays off our unique history and location. The one thing Buffalo’s urban planners don’t take seriously is the incredible ability for history and branding and architecture to attract investment, jobs, wealth to a city. Yet major sections of Niagara Falls were demolished and even today have not been rebuilt or been rebuilt with garbage infill that attracts nothing nada zero to the city.

        • Mr. B

          I get it, ChristieLou — you want Buffalo to be a Rust Belt version of Colonial Williamsburg . . .

          .

          • Doug Wallis

            Now your just reaching and being sarcastic. If you go to San Francisco, then you see golden gate park and the lovely Victorians on a hill. If you go to Boston, then you go to the Boylston and Beacon Hill. There are historic neighborhoods and buildings in every city that are attractions in their own right to locals and to visitors. Your approaching it as if its a SimCity recreation. No. Its been said in previous Buffalorising postings that 65%-75% of Buffalo’s history and golden age have been demolished. That’s huge. Yes, Buffalo should certainly infill with high quality contemporary and modern but Buffalo should also consider period designs as well. There are cities all across the country which have no history and are building period designs to give their city a sense of place. In Buffalo’s case period architecture is a part of Buffalo’s history. I have to wonder why Rochester understands this but Buffalo doesn’t.

      • Matt Marcinkiewicz

        Those two statements are not contradictory. In the first, he’s saying it’d be a shame to infill THE ENTIRETY OF the remainder (of buildable urban lots) with modern/contemporary. In the second, he’s advocating a mixture of styles, of which modern is included

    • MrGreenJeans

      It is an ugly, huge, industrial box. It would be just as well to implode the damned thing.

      • Doug Wallis

        The ugliest buildings in Buffalo, well, I would say its the city court building and most of the downtown garages.

      • Mr. B

        “It is an ugly, huge, industrial box.”

        I wonder if the fact that it was built as a factory has anything to do with it looking like an “industrial box”, Lol.

        Here are some other “ugly, huge, industrial box(es)”:

        – Bethune Lofts
        – AC Lofts
        – 500 Seneca

        Guess they should have all been imploded, too . . .

        .