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Construction phase of Richardson-Olmsted Complex is complete

Construction of a vast segment of the Richardson-Olmsted Complex is complete, which means that finishing touches to the interiors will commence. Three buildings have been converted into hotel, restaurant, event space, and architecture center – the restaurant is being called 100 Acres – The Kitchens at Hotel Henry. The Richardson Center Corporation (RCC) has announced that Hotel Henry and 100 Acres will open April 30, and the Architecture Center will open later in 2017. 

The $102.5 million historic preservation project is said to be one of the most significant redevelopment projects in the country – to think what this is going to do for Buffalo’s image once open is staggering. There’s simply nothing else like it, anywhere.

The redevelopment is using the remaining $76.5 million in state funds and $16 million in historic tax credits via M&T Bank in a massive undertaking to modernize the Complex and find profitable uses for the monumental structure.

The $69 million for redevelopment includes:

  • $17 million for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing.
  • $7 million to restore over 600 original windows.
  • $4 million to subtly insert elevators into the historical spaces.

Seeing the lights on at night is a sight for sore eyes. Not many Buffalonians ever thought that they would live to see the day when the iconic towers would be saved, let alone relit as a symbol of the rebirth of this city.

Paul Hojnacki, President of the Richardson Center Corporation (RCC) stated, “This towering success story stands as a testament to the many supporters who loudly proclaimed its worth over 40 years. We are very fortunate to have had the support of Governor Cuomo and the State of New York, M&T Bank, the City of Buffalo, and our neighbors in this monumental endeavor.”

Photo: 100 Acres – The Kitchens at Hotel Henry

Once operational, the project will have an annual payroll of $1.5 million. Property and sales tax revenue will exceed $1 million dollars a year. And to think that there are eight additional buildings that have not even been entered into the equation… just think of the potential. Work is already underway to determine best synergistic use of those buildings. Not to mention the restored grounds that will draw additional visitors to the site. Currently, the buildings that have been restored are the Towers Building and the two adjacent wing buildings.

According the RCC, “A capital campaign has been launched to fund the budget gap for this first phase of redevelopment and future redevelopment projects.  Through the generosity of the RCC’s late founder Stanford Lipsey, and his wife Judith Lipsey, the RCC has a challenge grant to encourage $5 million in giving and community support is crucial to meet this challenge.  The Lipsey gift will launch to Buffalo Architecture Center and in turn the Center will be named in their honor.  $3 million has been raised of the $5 million necessary to obtain the second $2.5 million from Stanford and Judith Lipsey.  The final $2 million to raise will finish this first phase of development and ready for future projects.”

More information about redevelopment, construction, and the campaign can be found at

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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