The Statler Towers remains vacant, a fence surrounds the perimeter and the first floor windows are boarded up.
After two failed attempts by two separate developers to rehabilitate the 87-year-old landmark, another developer has a bold new vision for the 18-story building.
Rocco Termini wants to create a community within a building, containing a charter school, family housing, retail and office space, even a college student-run hotel.
"It's got to be done," said Termini. "We've got to face the facts that it's not going to be torn down -- and we need to come up with a plan for the building."
"It needs to be a community effort," he added. "It can't just be one person's effort."
Termini said he also needs help from Albany in the form of historic tax credits.
He estimates the cost to give the Statler Towers new life is near $150 million, but tax credits could reduce the price to $70-80 million.
The Statler has been vacant since a group of investors failed to secured $1.3 million for the purchase.