If half of Trico is demolished, the iconic historic landmark will be stripped of it’s ability to take advantage of the valuable historic tax credits which often is the only way to make projects of this scale work.
This week, this Buffalo News article was posted which states half of Trico will be demolished. The plan removes significant portions of the building including the ice house and several portions of the daylight factory. This study presented has not explored all options fully, does not take into account the loss of important historic tax credits and most importantly, it dismisses the need for an official RFP process (similar to Millard Fillmore Hospital) which is the strongest way to attract a developer.
Here is why a half Trico is not acceptable.
1. Despite what the BNMC says, the market is there. The BNMC and UB have planned over SIX million square feet of office, lab, residential and classroom space for the medical corridor. This includes 600,000 sf needed for living space for UB students. News Flash – Trico is shy of 600,000 sf! Trico could easily be this space instead of spending millions of tax payer dollars to demolish and build new.
2. With the valuable historic tax credits removed from the equation (due to demolishing half the building) it makes the remainder of Trico highly unlikely to find a developer to rehab the space. Many experts feel that this will ultimately lead towards the ENTIRE building being demolished.
3. Parking. This is an argument about parking. Why would the BNMC demolish a building to build new when there is a vacant, shovel ready site owned by the BNMC directly acrossed the street? Oh yeah, PARKING. If Trico was rehabbed, parking would now become a SERIOUS issue that the BNMC does not want to deal with.
4. This decision was not community driven nor public in anyway. The BNMC did not meet with the community, nor did they gather a consensus from their “Trico Round Table” on the decision to remove half of the building. The BNMC told preservationists their decision and did not give them any time to read, review, or give comments on the decision. Do not be fooled. This was NOT a community process however should be because the BNMC is funded almost entirely with community tax dollars.
We challenge UB and BNMC to make good on their pledge to explore the reuse of Trico, and to issue an open, constructive, RFP with a reasonable timeline. Ultimately, their will have been no open minded exploration of the possibility for reuse for Trico without a public RFP.
A half Trico is not okay.