Rocco Termini has done it again. Except this time, instead of rehabbing one significant building, he has embarked upon a process to build a new neighborhood. Maybe even a district. Similar to Larkinville, Termini has begun to transform Chandler Street, which is located two blocks from Wegmans, and short distance from Elmwood Avenue (where a number of his other development projects can be found). What is so unusual, and thrilling, about Chandler Street, is that Termini literally owns a good portion of the street, which means that the sky is the limit when it comes to forward thinking plans to create a campus-like environment for a number of start-ups (some of which are already in steamroll mode).
When Termini first set his eyes on Chandler Street, some people thought that he was nuts. Termini had redirected his focus away from Downtown Buffalo to a broken down, crumbling, industrial eyesore. Few people would have been able to look at all of the land/building components and have an “aha!” moment. But Termini is not your average person. While he might look like a guy who just walked off the golf course on any given business day, he’s not someone to be trifled with (with or without a golf club in hand).
Termini is a no nonsense, hands-on business person and change-maker, who can be found at any number of his projects at any given time. The guy lives and breathes his work, and still manages to be a devoted family man (even if he occasionally walks a fine line – his wife, Bridget, can sometimes be heard chiding him for taking on more than he can chew). But Termini has a voracious business appetite, and can chew through projects that would leave most people running for the hills.
BMS Design is the design and preservation lead and Schenne & Associates is architect for the $8 million project (National Register of Historic Places).
Now, Termini is chewing up and spitting out Chandler Street (a START-UP NY zone). What was once a dump of a site, with no real purpose, is quickly becoming another crown jewel of Buffalo. The developer is converting the Chandler Street Industrial Buildings Historic District into a destination for young minds, who will work and play within the complex. Take, for example, the Linde Air Manufacturing complex at 155 Chandler Street (see before photos), which will soon become headquarters for software development firm Utilant, a current tenant at his Foundry Lofts project. The sprawling complex will also be home to ceramic technology firm EnrG. Unlike Utilant’s flashy office space (with interior garden), EnrG is shaping up to be more of an industrial work site with lofted offices. Other tenants within the building include Barrel + Brine Café and Taproom, BlackBird Cider Works, a tax accountant business, and a call center. And this is just the beginning. If you think this is impressive, there’s a lot more coming our way.
Stay tuned for more progress on Chandler (including more exciting news) over the next couple of days.