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Central Terminal developer would like to see Amtrak return


Buffalo's old Central Terminal could finally be brought back to life if the community goes along with plans for reusing the iconic structure.

More than 35 years after the Central Terminal closed as a passenger train station, Stinson Developments sees opportunity. The Hamilton, Ontario, based company was named the Designated Developer of the East Side landmark in May.

The Director of Stinson's U.S. Projects, Steven Fitzmaurice says, plans include holding special events in the concourse, restaurant and waiting room.  
"The events there would, much like Hotel Lafayette, provide the basis for a hotel. Our thought is right now that the adjacent baggage terminal building, which is approximately 100,000 square feet, would be a 220 room hotel," Fitzmaurice said.  

Commercial space could be located on several different levels above the concourse.
"There's three floors in particular, that have 20,000 square foot floor plates, which we think would be very appealing to commercial tenants, because you have views not only of the outside but looking in to the terminal as well," Fitzmaurice said.

The tower building could be converted into residential units. And Fitzmaurice points out, that the Central Terminal is on the Belt-Line that wraps around the city  and a railroad right-of-way extends to the airport. He says, the company is encouraged that Senator Charles Schumer is pushing to replace Buffalo's dilapidated Amtrak Station on Exchange Street downtown.
"The Central Terminal, we think, is a much grander entrance to Western New York than either Depew or the downtown station and why not use it?" Fitzmaurice said.

But at the same time, he says, Stinson's plan does not depend on Amtrak's return. Fitzmaurice says the company has until the end of November to come up with a plan the community supports and to find financing for the multi-million-dollar project.