BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A master plan is on its way to getting the Buffalo Central Terminal back online, and make it the anchor of the Queen City.
City and state leaders shared plans to position the terminal as an economic, social and cultural hub to accommodate large-scale events.
A detailed plan is set to restore the Buffalo Central Terminal to its original glory.State senator Tim Kennedy said, "Make it once again, a center piece- not just for the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, but for the City of Buffalo and the greater New York region."
Known for thriving during the "Roaring Twenties", this historic building has become an eyesore, but the central terminal restoration corporation and community members refuse to let it rot any longer.
"We used to produce concerts here for a number of years, which was jazz, pop and R&B. This helped to bring the population from all over the area to participate in events here," Fields of Dreams Block Club Association public relations officer, Van Taylor said.
Of course, the refurbishing will not happen over night.
"The key is, whoever the developing investment is, and I figured it would be able to take five to ten years once that money is found and out into it. You still have to still going just the same. You still have to keep building for the community and bring the community here. The history is incredible," Taylor said.
Members of the Restoration Corporation said the the early phases will support the film industry, house a civic commons to serve as a venue and a green space. it is something that costs more than $5 million.
"I would like to see that they have a connecting light rail system to Downtown Buffalo. Also, reach out from this point to Eastern Hills Mall or to Park from this location and re-establish maybe a high-speed rail system to this point- maybe from New York City or Albany," Taylor said.
However, state leaders like state senator Tim Kennedy said the restoration should not be exclusive to the campus.Senator Kennedy said, "Really bringing the community in and making sure that the neighbors and the neighborhood surrounding of this beautiful building are a part of it as well."
Support for the Capital Project was provided by the "Empire State Development" through Governor Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion Economic Development Initiative" of more than $300.000, and roughly $314,000 from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.
The area around Central Terminal has changed quite a bit. Over the years, census data shows the population in this part of the city has dropped by more than 55%, since 1980. This is the year after the terminal closed.
The median household income has also plummeted. The poverty rate has more than doubled over the last 40 years.