Douglas Development is moving forward with its second largest local project- reuse of the Statler’s upper floors. The developer is proposing a whopping 550 apartments for the tower. Renovations are also planned for the basement ballroom, Turkish bath, lobby ballroom and mezzanine rooms to create 100,000 square feet of additional event space. In order to make that happen, 600 parking spaces are proposed for the building’s basement and portions of the three-story wing along Croce Way and Franklin Street.
From the application to the Planning Board:
The event space will likely be operational several days a week all year long for weddings, corporate events, and other exciting attractions in Buffalo’s downtown core. At the ground floor/lobby level, a portion of the former hotel lobby will be converted to retail and restaurant space facing Franklin Street and Genesee Street, and the existing lobby bar will be retained and renovated, for a total of approximately 16,000 square feet of commercial space. Finally, a portion of the basement, mezzanine, second and third floor of the Base will be converted into 600 new structured parking spaces, totaling 150,000 square feet.
Overall, the Project will enhance the pedestrian experience, revitalize an underutilized iconic building, and bring new life to Buffalo’s downtown core. The Project will transform this iconic building into a mixed use community connected, via public transportation, to the rest of the City. The Site will be well served by the addition of an on-site parking structure, which will be able to accommodate 600 vehicles, as well as numerous other surface lots, structured lots and street parking in the area.
The purpose of the Project is to make the Statler Hotel a Buffalo destination once again, with a vibrant center of activity where Buffalonians, visitors and tourists alike can meet, celebrate, and enjoy Buffalo’s beautiful downtown. Given the Site’s central location and easy accessibility, this Project has the potential to be yet another success story in the City’s continuing resurgence and will bring yet more people downtown to live, work and visit.
Jemal purchased the Statler in 2020 and immediately began preservation and restoration of the lower exterior of the building, work that prior owner Mark Croce had started. The preservation and restoration is consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s standards for restoring historic structures and is eligible for historic tax credits.
Douglas Development spent over $120 million to acquire and redevelop the Seneca One complex. The Statler work is estimated at $100 million. Construction is expected to take two years.