Tonight the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture hosted a meeting about the future of the Trico building at Promised Land Baptist Church, at High and Mulberry streets. Among the speakers was developer Rocco Termini, who in recent years has become one of the city’s preeminent restorers and re-users of historic properties.
Termini said that during a meeting last week, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’s executive director, Matt Enstice, told him that BNMC would sell the Trico building to anyone who thought they could come up with a feasible plan to reuse it for $1. (How that would work is unclear: BNMC doesn’t own the building. A city agency called the Buffalo Brownfield Restoration Corporation owns it. Anyway…) Termini seemed to believe that Enstice was bluffing—that Enstice was simply arguing that no developer could make the finances work for preservation of the iconic downtown factory.
“I’m here tonight to tell you that I’m going to call his bluff,” Termini said to the 50 people who attended the meeting, a crowd that included Common Council members Darius Pridgen and Dave Franczyk. “I have a dollar in my pocket.”
Termini said he wanted control of the property for two years, in which time he’d create a plan and finance it. He said that the demolition that BNMC is pursuing would likely take two years to be approved anyway, so why not give him a chance to save it?