How Not to Revive the Statler

5 Mar

With all due respect, a parking ramp isn’t going to remediate asbestos and otherwise renovate the deteriorating, dead Statler into something usable in the 21st century.

Someone needs to invest maybe $100 million, and in order for that to happen there has to be a reasonable expectation that the project would successfully attract enough tenants to at least break even.

The problem isn’t about the Statler and it isn’t about parking. It’s about the economy and our business environment. Stop putting Band-Aids on this festering boil.

8 Responses to “How Not to Revive the Statler”

  1. Brian March 5, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    You want to know how to revitalize the Stater? What if we built a federal courthouse across the street? Think of all the law-firms that would want to move in across the street. 
    Oh, wait, we are already building a courthouse across the street…maybe more government spending isn’t the solution to every problem. 

  2. Howard Goldman March 5, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    When you buy a used car you can drive it to work every day and perform normal maintenance, or you can be a fanatic and give it a full frame-off restoration – spending a fortune on a trailer queen. The Statler doesn’t necessarily require a full restoration. It has been a going concern as long as any of us have been alive. With a reasonable tax assessment the numbers work. It can carry itself with tenants on just a few of the already completed floors. The other space can be built to suit as demand dictates in the future. It already has what is arguably the nicest turn-key banquet space in WNY. Somebody will come a long soon and buy this classic car and happily drive it back and forth to work – for years with just regular oil changes. When the construction crews are done with the courthouse, convention center, and hotel, the contractor’s pickup trucks will leave and those parking lots will look empty again. Plenty of parking. Then, simply drop the government owned parking lots and let the market determine where future ramps will be located.

    • Starbuck March 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

      It has been a going concern as long as any of us have been alive.

      Couldn’t the same be said any time any building older than the average person becomes empty? Things that are “going concerns” don’t always keep going and going and going.

      With a reasonable tax assessment the numbers work.

      If the numbers are so clearly workable, why did the Statler draw only two very small bids in a well-publicized public auction last year? Then the winning bidder couldn’t even actually pay anywhere near the amount he bid.

  3. Christopher Byrd March 5, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Howard Goldman for Mayor 2014

  4. Brian Castner March 5, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    1) This is a terrible idea – we need to hold out for City Tower to be built on that site.

    2) How does the Mayor possible justify naming Buffalo’s #1 priority to the feds as this new random parking garagrage idea – something he pulled out of his ass to fix the problem of the month. Really, Buffalo’s #1 priority? This is how we got $151M instead of $3B for the high speed rail. Seat of the pants planning and no coordination – more Buffalo FAIL.

  5. Alan Bedenko March 5, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Our number one priority is quite clear, and is evidenced by State Senator Antoine Thompson’s recent overseas trade mission.

    The future is in tchotchkes.

    Thankfully, Senator Thompson is a man with real vision who will ensure that Caribbean trinket wholesalers are better connected to Buffalo trinket shops.

    No wonder he’ll be the next mayor.

  6. Derek J. Punaro March 5, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    If you can’t sell a historic building in decent shape smack dab in the heart of the city, spitting distance from city hall, building a parking ramp is not going to fix your problems.

  7. Howard Goldman March 5, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    I know I’m often accused by my friends of over simplifying things, but when you want to sell a building don’t you usually start by simply listing it for sale with a real estate agent? I can’t find a listing for this property. lol Maybe we need more professionals involved so that someone can make an executive decision to call to a Realtor. lol I’ll be happy to volunteer my index finger and my telephone to call Alan Hastings.

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