The Central Terminal Restoration Corp. (CTRC) has selected Quinn Evans as the prime architect for the revitalization of the Buffalo Central Terminal. CTRC is taking important steps to advance reuse of the historic train station following the significant investment of $61 million in this living landmark from the public and philanthropic funding partners of the Regional Revitalization Partnership.
Momentum is building for the future of the Buffalo Central Terminal as a lasting cultural and economic hub for the community.
The CTRC has 1) launched Phase 2 of major capital improvements, 2) engaged an architecture and engineering team to oversee the project, 3) engaged a team to complete a required Historic Structures Report and Cultural Landscape Report, 4) invited finalists to submit proposals for a private development partner.
PHASE 2 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
A major construction project is starting, utilizing a portion of the Regional Revitalization Partnership funding. This phase will address the highest priority safety and stabilization issues, reopen the Passenger Concourse for public access on a limited basis, and expand use of the Plaza and the Great Lawn. Work includes 1) major structural concerns and masonry conditions in the Main Terminal Building, Tower, and parking garage, including repair of the historic Guastavino vaulted ceiling in the Passenger Concourse and 2) roof and window repairs to stop water intrusion and related deterioration.
This second major capital phase builds on the capital work completed in 2019-2022 which focused a $5 million investment from Empire State Development on repair and replacement of the former restaurant roof - ending severe water infiltration and damage. Additional companion work included new roof drains, repair of a collapsed sewer line for drainage, asbestos abatement, masonry repairs, and repair of a portion of the barrel roof. The former restaurant area is now dry, and ready for the next phase of construction.
Phase 2 of construction is a $13-$16 million project that will start in April 2023 with a conditions assessment of the Main Terminal building and garage. This will be followed by a design phase with construction documents to be issued in late 2023 and early 2024; bidding and construction will take place starting in 2024 and will continue through 2025.
ENGAGEMENT OF AN ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING TEAM
After a competitive process that began in November 2022, Quinn Evans was selected to serve as the prime architect for the Phase 2 Capital Improvements. The project will involve a multi-disciplinary team of consultants, including several local and MWBE firms, including Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning and Design Synergies Architecture. Additional team members are: Silman as structural engineer; Buro Happold as mechanical and electrical engineer; GHD as fire protection and life safety engineer; Tredo Engineers as civil and environmental engineer; Jablonski Building Conservation as building conservationist; and Dharam Consulting as cost estimator.
Quinn Evans, among the nation’s largest women-owned architecture and planning firms, has extensive experience in the renovation, restoration, and adaptive use of historic buildings, including our nation’s early twentieth-century, industrial train stations. The firm is currently working on the modernization of Detroit’s Michigan Central Station as well as Baltimore’s Penn Station and has completed numerous rehabilitation projects for Amtrak.
PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT PARTNER SOLICITATION
The CTRC continues the process to identify a development partner aligned with the community-driven vision for the revitalization of the Central Terminal as a center of activity and as a catalytic anchor within the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood and East Buffalo, and a generational investment in the City of Buffalo and the WNY region.
The solicitation for private development partner has moved to the second stage of the search. A Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) was issued in partnership with the City of Buffalo in July of last year and the amount and quality of responses was a strong first step in the process. Several qualified teams were invited to submit responses to a Request for Proposal (RFP) that will provide additional information and clarity on items such as vision, plan and program, financial capacity and feasibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and strategies, team structure, as well as experience and capabilities. The private development partner will be selected in the Fall of 2023.
The selected team will lead development for the combined CTRC and City parcel, with a long-term vision that aligns with the CTRC’s community-driven Master Plan and City of Buffalo 2023-2027 Four-Year Strategic Plan. This long-term vision will be paired with an actionable early phase that is practical and achievable. This early phase will create energy and occupancy at the site, providing the type of activation that will attract positive activity and provide confidence in subsequent phases of the project.
The CTRC will continue to have a role in the ongoing revitalization and operations of the Central Terminal as the owner of the property and long-term steward of the historic site. In particular, the CTRC expects to have a long-term presence at the Terminal leading educational and awareness efforts and to have an advisory role in the development strategy and programming.
MOMENTUM IS BUILDING
With help of our funders and the capacity-building support of East Sides Avenues, we are on a path to a successful future -- moving forward to advance the Buffalo Central Terminal as a prime project in a prime location. The Central Terminal is a singular catalytic opportunity to ignite a shared vision for a new future, a vibrant mixed-use complex, one where the newly revitalized Central Terminal is an integral part of creating opportunity for all.