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Planners provide update at Richardson complex

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Plans to convert the historic Richardson building at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center into a hotel and architecture center are about half done. Organizers discussed developments at a public meeting Tuesday night.Millions of dollars have gone into stabilizing the historic twin-towered complex, just to get it ready for new uses. Now, there's been $5 million put into the South Lawn along Forest Avenue to reproduce the Olmsted design of the lawn.

The crowd in the Burchfield Penney Art Center Tuesday night was shown detailed renderings of what will go into the main building.

"What we talked about tonight were the state of the design as far as the hotel rooms, the conference center, the restaurant space, what it's going to look like for that towers building," said Richardson Center Corporation Board Member Eva Hassett.
                
Hassett says the plans call for a 2016 opening of the 88-room hotel that occupy around one-third of the 450,000 square feet of space at the Richardson complex.

Architectural renderings shown last night call for the glassed-in hotel entrance to be on the Buffalo State side of the building, with a road from the campus Rockwell Road.

Cost is listed at $56 million with Albany providing $37 million; tax credits will cover the remaining costs.

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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