Douglas Jemal is certainly ambitious and he may be ready to take on one of Buffalo’s most challenging sites. According to The Buffalo News, Jemal is considering taking on redevelopment of the Central Terminal:
“I think it’s one of the top 10 coolest buildings in the world,” Jemal said of the historic art deco building, a train station for 50 years until rail service ended in 1979. “It’s phenomenal. I would love to do that one. That one is the coup de grace. It’s got to be done.”
Jemal, 77, said he has no timeline, but plans to sit down soon to explore the possibility with representatives of the Central Terminal Restoration Corp., the nonprofit that took ownership of it in 1997.
Last month, Jemal disclosed he is working with the Richardson Center Corporation on taking over the former Hotel Henry and bringing new life to seven uncommitted buildings on the historic campus. He also is breathing new life into the Seneca One complex, has big plans for reuse of the Statler, is planning to take over and reopen the Hyatt and has two other residential projects planned downtown. In Amherst, he is working on a long-term plan to remake the Boulevard Mall site.
The Central Terminal Restoration Corp. (CTRC) is utilizing State funding to prepare a master plan for the complex.
The Plan also looks at the much larger picture – the scope – of how The Central Terminal fits into the Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood, including the business district and the Broadway Market. The Master Plan includes three main components:
- A guide to redevelopment and reuse of the Central Terminal
- A plan to strengthen connections between the Central Terminal and the neighborhood and its existing assets in a manner that reflects the neighborhood values
- A development and financing structure to establish a framework to solicit and evaluate developer proposals
Designed by the iconic railroad station architects Fellheimer and Wagner, Buffalo Central Terminal has been listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places since 1984. The complex is located on an approximately 60+- acre site. Over time the complex has been divided into multiple ownerships. The CTRC owns the 12.5 acre 495 Paderewski parcel including the concourse, tower and baggage building. The CTRC parcel abuts the City of Buffalo-owned 15.4 acre parcel at 59 Memorial Drive including the mail building and also abuts the remaining 36-plus acres owned by CSX and Amtrak.