BUFFALO (WKBW) The former insane asylum bordering Buffalo State College is the focus of the latest redevelopment plan in Western New York.
While the Richardson Olmstead Complex contains multiple of these buildings, laid out in a "flock of geese" pattern, but the main focus is on the center building, with its two well known towers. It is what architects and planners hope will be the future of this community.
On Monday, plans were unveiled for the future of the site at a public meeting.
"It's almost anticlimactic at this point. It's so exciting, it's so wonderful, we're really excited by the design," Barbara Campagna of the Richardson Center Corp. said.
The rehab of the complex focuses on mixed use, and includes a boutique hotel, an event and conference space, and an architecture center.
"It will be popular, it will be attractive, it will be welcoming. People are attracted to this building, they can see if from all around this community. People will come here and they will enjoy it, " Christopher Greene, also of the Richardson Center Corp. said.
56 million dollars in state funding will pay for the rehabilitation project, which is expected to bring in private investment money as well. The project is estimated to create 500 construction jobs and nearly 100 permanent jobs.
The complex was built in 1870 on more than 200 acres as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. Despite its past, many community members are still quite excited for the future of the project.
"I think it's fantastic. I think the expenditure is well worth it and it's been going very well," one meeting attendee said.
"Really excited to see it improve and to be living here and get to use the space for the next however many years," another added.
Groundbreaking on the multi-use complex will take place next spring, construction is expected to take about 2 years, with a grand opening of the hotel, conference center, and architecture center set for spring of 2016.