The long-vacant Trico complex, which stands as a gateway to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and was once headed for demolition, could see new life as an extended-stay hotel, office, retail or residential complex.
“We have plans to redevelop the property for mixed-use purposes,” Paul R. Neureuter, president of Krog Corp., said last week, adding that it would be premature to discuss details of what that redevelopment would be.
An application the company filed with the state also notes that plans for the project are yet not finalized, but a Krog subsidiary “envisions a capital investment of greater than $10 million to purchase, remediate, and redevelop the site for commercial hotel/office/retail and/or residential apartments/condominiums.”
Meanwhile, Trico’s ownership, Buffalo Brownfield Restoration Corp., met Friday and agreed to pursue an extension of the designated-developer agreement with the Medical Campus. The agreement expires Nov. 16, and a meeting was tentatively set for Nov. 15 to vote on an extension, which is still being negotiated and is expected to last through June or August.
The extension would allow Krog to test the site and see if it is feasible to redevelop, though the agreement would continue to be between the restoration corporation and the Medical Campus, board members said.
The corporation’s board met behind closed doors for 45 minutes and discussed the agreement, and when members emerged, two members identified potential conflicts. Lawyer Craig A. Slater said he represents Krog and will not vote on the extension. Deputy County Executive Richard M. Tobe said that he attends Medical Campus board meetings as a non-voting member and that he leaves the room when Trico comes up in discussions there.
Krog Corp., which has a track record for developing industrial properties and for taking on tough projects, has exclusive rights to develop an extended-stay hotel on the Medical Campus.
An estimated timeline provided to the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Krog’s August application seeking brownfield tax credits shows that remediation measures would be carried out between April and August 2014.
The former windshield wiper factory has several environmental issues, including about 144,000 gallons of PCB-affected groundwater in the subbasement and elevated concentrations of contaminants in the soil.
In addition to brownfield tax credits, Krog also is expected to seek historic preservation tax credits.
The site includes five industrial buildings, which were constructed from 1890 to 1954, and total of 617,627 square feet.
The Trico complex’s lack of local landmark status was the subject of a lawsuit filed by Terrence A. Robinson, a member of the city’s Preservation Board and a founding member of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. The suit was dismissed two weeks ago, he said.
Robinson, who said he will appeal, is suing the Common Council over its decision to deny landmark status to Trico Plant No. 1, contrary to the Preservation Board recommendation. Trico Plant No. 1 is on the national and state historic registers.