Savarino Cos. has big plans for the DL&W Terminal’s second level but is not ready detail their vision just yet. The developer hasn’t been designated developer for the NFTA-owned property, but appears to be the only firm that responded to the RFP seeking development plans.
The Buffalo News was able to get the company to reveal a few of their ideas for the property however:
Savarino is still guarding such specifics as the proposal’s price tag. The general plan includes some kind of public market, a Metro Rail station, a museum, artist studios, food hall, first-floor waterfront cafe, shared community kitchen and space for public events. After retaining a nationally known consultant called Project for Public Spaces, plus local architects Foit-Albert Associates, the Savarino team concluded a public market-only concept would not work.
He envisions a community kitchen for small food and beverage companies to prepare offerings for second-floor stands. Art studios could dot the interior, and serious talks involve a proposed Buffalo Experience Museum housing Buffalo halls of fame for sports, music and broadcasting.
“We really like our application,” said Julia Spitz, Savarino Properties’ executive vice president. “We are committed to the neighborhood that we’ve been investing in for over a decade.”
The NFTA has not detailed a timeline for making decisions for the site and is still trying to fill a funding gap to construct a new light rail station in the terminal and connect it to the Key Center parking ramp across South Park Avenue. 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 the planned rail station platform will also be available for development.
If selected, Savarino Cos. is planning to work with stakeholders and the public to determine the ultimate programming and uses for the site.
“We hope to move forward and would like to solidify this project,” said Spitz. “I recently paid a visit to the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto and it was inspirational to say the least.”
Renderings from The Buffalo News