A National Landmark in Buffalo is about to undergo a major transformation. Friday, developers, along with state and city officials, announced the first phase of redevelopment of the Richardson Olmstead Complex is finally underway. YNN's Kevin Jolly was on hand for the announcement, and tells us what's in store for the historic facility.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Richardson Olmstead Complex was once a state hospital for the mentally ill. It's been dormant for nearly 40 years.
Now, a major transformation is underway.
Friday, Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy, along with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, developers, and elected state officials announced Phase One of a $56.5 million project to turn the old hospital into a 90-room boutique hotel and event center.
"This is going to be a place of commerce, a place where two things happen; people come from afar. This is a magnet of people that will be coming here to see, to train, to learn, to teach, communicate and introduce new ideas and things throughout the state and region," said Dennis Murphy.
The hotel and events center will occupy about one-third of the 480,000 square foot building in the iconic towers building and two adjacent ward buildings.
The redevelopment, spearheaded by architecture firm Flynn Batagglia and New York based Deborah Berke Partners, is expected to create hundreds of jobs.
“When this is done, it’s going to end up 500 construction jobs that'll be created, 70 to 90 full time jobs. it is going to be a terrific infusion into Buffalo and its economy," said Duffy.
The complex was emptied in 1974, except for the Administration building which was vacated in 1994. The renovation project is being funded with $37.4 million in state funds and $19 million in tax credits.
“There’re new market tax credits in here, there's federal historic tax credit, there's state historic tax credit, but slow and steady wins the day in these types of development projects. The state money that was put in originally is going to be the catalyst to finish this project."
The first phase of the project is expected to take about three years with completion tentatively scheduled for late 2015.