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Development input sought from Fruit Belt residents

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The issue of the fate of the Trico complex on the edge of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has now become mixed into the fight over how much say Fruit Belt residents should have in development in their neighborhood.The Fruit Belt Coalition meets Monday night in Futures Academy to talk about the situation, with Ellicott District Common Councilmember Darius Pridgen saying he will block Medical Campus plans unless neighbors are allowed to become more involved. There is another meeting April 23 with University at Buffalo representatives slated to talk about their plans.

The councilman wants the Preservation Board to brief residents about why the board wants Trico to be a local landmark, as well as a state and federal one. Pridgen says he wants neighbors to understand the Trico issues.

"Folks who want to keep the building will be able to speak to them and articulate why and folks that say this shouldn't be landmarked. That's the question. I understand this isn't about demolition, it's about whether it should be landmarked. But, regardless of whether the question is landmark or any other question, those folks still should weigh in because that's right where they live," Pridgen said.

The Preservation Board has asked the Council to approve local landmark status to block Trico demolition and then push for a developer to get the complex for development.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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