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Proposals Sought for DL&W’s Second Floor

The NFTA is seeking proposals from developers interested in creating residential, retail, office or other commercial uses in the DL&W Station at the foot of Main Street.  The second floor and a small portion of the first floor are available for development.  Proposals are due February 19.

DL&W’s second floor includes 74,875 sq.ft. of unfinished indoor space and 57,662 sq.ft. of outdoor deck space that overlooks the Buffalo River and Canalside.  Approximately 6,500 sq.ft. of space on the first floor adjacent to a planned rail station platform will also be available for development.

Some history on the Terminal from the NFTA RFP:

Erected in 1917 by architect Kenneth M. Murchison, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Terminal complex serves as one of the region’s most significant inter-modal transportation centers.  Sitting on an 8.1 acre site, the Terminal consisted of four structures, including a double-deck train shed, attached ticketing and terminal buildings to the west of the train shed, and a brick signal tower/power house at the easternmost site boundary.

The train shed and adjoining terminal were designed to handle both train and steamer passengers.  The upper level tracks rest on a reinforced concrete deck supported by concrete columns.  The six upper level tracks accommodated passenger traffic and the three lower tracks were for express shipments.  Patented in 1904, this type of shed presented an economic alternative to the large span glass train shed.  Each shed unit, composed of steel arched girders carrying reinforced concrete slabs, spanned to lines of track and half a platform on each site.  The roof contained skylights for light and deep slots for the escape of fumes.

For decades, the Terminal served as a key intermodal passenger and goods transfer point with passengers disembarking trains for water taxis, passenger ships, trolleys, and taxis.  In 1979, part of the Terminal was demolished.  By 1985, the remaining train shed was repurposed to store and maintain Metro Rail vehicles and supporting equipment.

In April 2016, the NFTA voted to extend Metro Rail service beyond the current Special Events Station at Canalside into the Terminal.  A new 300-foot boarding platform is planned between new tracks on the Buffalo River side of the building.  The design provides for vertical access to the second floor of the Terminal along a pedestrian corridor though the second floor to facilitate circulation between the new station platform area, a new main entrance located on South Park Avenue near Illinois Street, and a direct connection to KeyBank Center through a pedestrian walkway.  That $42 million project is currently under design and awaiting funding.

Proposals will be based on financial and technical criteria, qualifications and experience, and diversity practices.

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