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Trico site developer files mixed-use plan including hotel

The developer planning to convert the former Trico Building into a mixed-use facility that will include an extended-stay hotel, apartments and retail space has filed a site plan with the city.

The Krog Corp. will partner with Hart Hotels for the construction and operation of the project. Krog signed a purchase agreement last year with Buffalo Brownfield Restoration Corp., which owns the property. The project is expected to cost around $50 million.

With the filing of the site plan, Krog President Paul R. Neureuter said the project is about halfway to the start of construction, which he said is expected to begin late this year or early next year. For now, the process has to go through city approvals. Then will come preparing and submitting drawings to secure a building permit, he said.

“It’s a beautiful building,” Neureuter said. “It’s important to all of us from Buffalo to see it put back into productive use.”

The Trico Building, located at 791 Washington St. on the edge of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, is a 617,000-square-foot industrial property that has been sitting vacant and fallen into a state of disrepair after serving as a windshield wiper manufacturing plant for many years.

Neureuter said the hotel will occupy about one-third of the building; residential space will occupy about half the building, and the remaining space will be commercial.

The hotel component is slated to occupy a portion of all six floors along the Goodell Street side of the building.

“We think there’s an unserved niche there in the Medical Campus,” Neureuter said of the extended-stay hotel. “We wouldn’t be looking to build another hotel to jump into the fray downtown.”

The residential component of the building will be located mostly on the north side, with the entrance coming off of the building’s historic entrance on Washington Street. Commercial spaces will mainly take up the first four floors on the Ellicott Street side, Neureuter said.

He added that the project has been motivated by the Trico Building’s proximity to the Medical Campus and to the public transportation system.

The developers received tax credits from both the state Brownfield Cleanup Program and the National Park Service.

Krog executives believe that the redevelopment can serve the rising demand for housing and hotel rooms associated with the growth of the Medical Campus, including the new University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences that is under construction there. The development also will include commercial and retail space to serve the nearby hospitals and health science businesses.

The apartments are expected to include some of the historic interior structural components of the building.

“While we still face many challenges, we’re confident that our adaptive reuse plan will return the Trico Building to prominence and serve as a useful and complimentary addition to the medical campus,” said Peter L. Krog, the development company’s founder.

Mayor Byron W. Brown said the filing of the site plan is a milestone in the advancement of a project that could further spur the redevelopment of the area around the Medical Campus.

“Krog will breathe new life into this long-vacant building, which will result in future investment and job growth in Buffalo,” Brown said.