Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Higgins proposes developing downtown train terminal

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Buffalo: Higgins proposes developing downtown train terminal
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BUFFALO, NY--The DL&W Terminal along South Park Avenue is partially used by the NFTA as a train service center.

Congressman Brian Higgins believes now is the time to act on developing the upper level.

It’s currently vacant and has balconies with views of the waterfront.

"It’s a second floor so we have to install elevators and probably some ramps and there would be considerable restoration work that would need to take place", said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation board member Sam Hoyt.

Hoyt says there has been discussion for years to renovate the space for different functions.

"An indoor outdoor farmers market. A restaurant, for a while there was discussion about having a satellite of the Albright Knox Art Gallery down there. Whatever the development is it's likely to be a mixed use, meaning multiple entities within the space", said Hoyt.

However Fillmore District councilman David Franczyk believes a market would hurt the success of the nearby Broadway market.

"I think any plans for that terminal will not be a public market because we've spent millions of dollars in the public market we have. People aren’t going to go to the waterfront to buy pork chops and polish sausages and things like that", said Franczyk.

Higgins says local developer Rocco Termini could be a front runner to transform the location. Franczyk supports that idea.

The councilman said, "I think he's done some great, wonderful things like the Lafayette hotel. It’s just so magnificent. He’s really taken projects that people said could never happen so I think he could be a good developer for that".

YNN reached out to Termini, who said its too early to comment on the project just yet.
Hoyt says he reached out to the NFTA Saturday about the idea and he believes they would be open to it.

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