Today, Congressman Brian Higgins, State Senator Tim Kennedy, State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Buffalo Common Councilman Dave Franczyk and Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration Corporation;s Mark Lewandowski are meeting at the Central Terminal to tour the complex. This comes after the news yesterday where Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state will pay for the $1 million study to expore different options for a site in the city. Cuomo asked Mayor Byron Brown to head a committee that will determine the location within six months.The terminal is on the short list of sites being considered for a new home for a train station in Buffalo.
The congressman (Higgins) prefers the Central Terminal, which could accommodate trains headed eastbound, westbound and north into Canada. That also is the preference of the Buffalo Common Council, which went on record Oct. 18 in support of the East Side art deco landmark. Citizens For Regional Transit, a group that supports expansion of mass transit also favors the Central Terminal site.
Earlier this year, Canadian developer Harry Stinson announced plans to redevelop the Central Terminal complex. Coupling this with the potential of train service returning to the terminal, this could be the one-two punch in making redevelopment of the complex a reality.
“It may not have been possible 15 years ago, but restoration of the Central Terminal is possible in the new Buffalo,” Higgins said. “In the enormous scale of that redevelopment project, it may be possible to carve out a small ‘station-within-a-station’ that would squarely and singularly focus on providing a highly functional train station to meet current and projected needs.
There have been different plans floated over the years for Central Terminal redevelopment — none coming to fruition. But the traction here is undeniable. A new day for this East Side treasure may just be right around the corner. Fingers crossed.