Termini: AM&A’s Project is Dead

Rocco Termini’s redevelopment plans for the long-vacant AM&A’s Department Store appear to be dead thanks to Albany’s foot dragging.  A $60 million makeover would have put office space, apartments, retail, restaurants, a small hotel and health club into the Main Street property. 

The AM&As project was contingent on Governor Cuomo signing a bill into law that would have raised the State’s historic preservation tax credit cap from $5 million to $12 million.  That bill has been passed by both the State Senate and Assembly, but incredibly, hasn’t been forwarded to the Governor for consideration.  Rocco says he has tenants lined up that need space by early next year and instead of in the department store, will put them into a new downtown project.

WGRZ has the story:

Now that Termini’s option on the AM&A’s property has expired, he told 2 On Your Side’s Melissa Holmes he’s indeed moving on.

“I have some tenants that need to be into space by the first quarter of 2013 and I have a commitment those tenants,” Termini said.

Termini says the three major tenants who planned to move in there and bring 500 jobs with them, will move into another yet-to-be restored building downtown.

“We can’t reveal what that building is at this point but we will in the next couple weeks,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Governor said the historic tax credit legislation is still under review in the Senate. Once it arrives on Cuomo’s desk, he’s got 10 days to sign it or veto it.

A spokesperson for the Governor said the historic tax credit legislation is still under review in the Senate. Once it arrives on Cuomo’s desk, he’s got 10 days to sign it or veto it.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Scott Reif, told 2 On Your Side there are 86 bills passed by both houses that still need to be sent to Cuomo for his approval. He requests batches of bills and has not yet requested this one. Reif said he has no specific timeline other than that the governor has to have it by the end of the year.  

 

Alan Bodenko’s take here.

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34 comments
Jaybird
Jaybird

Sucks this happened. Would have loved to see new life in that building, especially a hotel. But, the building is still in good shape and can be easily re-developed, so you never know.

American
American

He'll veto it, but not until AFTER the election, so as to not damage Grisanti's chances. This way, we have a Republican Senate (with pal Grisanti)and the Gov. can go hard on the labor unions.

whatever
whatever

lol, oh yes, good insight - nobody ever brings up politics on here... like against Carl P, or Ciminelli, and nobody ever whined about Sinatra-Rove either... except when they do all that!

And mentions above of Cuomo, Skelos, ...

But any of it should never be dissented from or joked about - got it, Officer, yes sir!

"Realist"
"Realist"

You're right to bring up politics again. To the untrained observer, Rove, Cheney, the ghost of Barry Goldwater etc. may look like they have nothing to do with an adaptive reuse project Downtown. In the larger context of our ongoing culture war though, you; me; and those freedom loving patriots are all that stand between decent people and the hated progressives.

"Tenants lined up" sounds like people are voting with their feet for places like AM&As but you and I know this is all just a progressive plot to drive average working families from their beloved ranch homes and pack them into dreaded cities. It's communism, class warfare, UN conspiracies and welfare all at once.

Let's fight this scourge of force-fed urbanism by talking up the city subsidy angle while pretending government intervention doesn't happen in the parts of town where we both know people ought to be living. If anybody tries to call out the obvious hypocrisy in our message we'll pelt them with an endless stream of strawmans, red herrings, and hyperlinks to Wikipedia.

Pegger
Pegger

I agree that it was just posturing- just a part of the game in Albany. Looks like a proven strategy to me!

buffaloroam
buffaloroam

Mark,

that was the best laugh of the night. Thanks

BuffaloQPublic
BuffaloQPublic

Buffplanner - good action item. Count me in on the petition signing.

whatever
whatever

I agree with most of what jag said, and I'd add...

especially if Rocco already has other vacant space for those tenants to move into, then why would spending another $12M of NY state money for AM&A's be a good use of public money?

Giving money to 1%er landlords instead of for schools or police, while there already seems to be a surplus of available commercial space even before HSBC tower further empties out next year? How is that fair to other landlords who these tenants might otherwise consider (in the city or anywhere) and who are in the majority which don't receive the millions?

Sill, I'll predict Cuomo will unfortunately sign the bill at a politically convenient moment. Hopefully I'm wrong. We'll see.

whatever
whatever

Yes, imagine the tragedy if AM&A's ever stole a tenant who otherwise would move into a subsidized building owned by repuke-friendly Uniland or Sinatra-Rove-Haliburton.

Or even more tragic - what if AM&A'S ever lured one that was about to _finally_ be a ground floor tenant at ArtSpace? lol

Maybe we need more forward leadership to centrally govern a pecking order!

300miles
300miles

it's not anything. It empty political garbage.

Mark_Hitchcock
Mark_Hitchcock

At this point Steve Christie has been up there so long he will likely have to stay due to historic preservation laws.

Jaxson
Jaxson

Can't Sam Hoyt do something about this, isn't he Cupmo's guy ?

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

You mean in terms of developers (because a LOT of people are doing a lot in Buffalo)?

Other developers doing great work include Kissling Interests (all over Buffalo), Howard Zemsky and partners (Larkin), Chris Jacobs (Cobblestone, Main Street), and Roger Trettel (Elicott, Main Street), and even Carl P. has had some great projects. There are smaller developers, such as First Amherst and Nick Sinatra, who have done/are doing good work as well.

However, Rocco is definitely the most high-profile, has the biggest following and is the most visionary (though he and Howard are pretty tied for that position), I would say.

300miles
300miles

This kind of inaction just goes to show how Albany and Cuomo are full of BS.

Buffalo Billion? Ha. They can even put pen to paper on something like this that everyone has already agreed to.

Thanks for nothing.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Anyone want to start a pool for how long Steve Christie will be up there? I'll throw $25 into it.

buffaloroam
buffaloroam

A big boo... but excited to hear what the other project is.

paulsobo
paulsobo

Look at the 1890s facade on Washington and there is your answer.

Get rid of the 1950s international facade.

Put back the 1890s facade onto Main Street and the side street, break the building up. Its really like 7 buildings that were merged into one.

Break the building back up and put an interior atrium/courtyard for all to share. It would basically emulate the Ellicott Square Building and the old Post Office (ECC downtown)...then it would be manageable.

Thats the way large projects like AMA&s and Statler need to be done...historical and in manageable pieces

Jaxson
Jaxson

Is Rocco Termini the ONLY person doing anything in the city of Buffalo or only the most publicized ?

longgone
longgone

Anyone want to take a stab at the "yet-to-be restored building downtown" building?

500 people is not small. Curious as to what it could be.

"Realist"
"Realist"

Good. Any development that requires any kind of public sector subsidy ought to be run out of town.

The exceptions being the multitude of things I like that are dependent on subsidies. Those projects are okay.

jag
jag

"If it's (the legislation) not signed in a couple of weeks we'll get a move on to another project because we don't want to lose our tenants."

So...what's the problem? I understand he'd like an extra 7 mil handed to him (who the heck wouldn't?), but in the real world this is how things happen - you fill space in an economically viable way. Currently, that means these tenants will be put in a different building that requires less reno cost. Then, as supply dries up, these less financially viable buildings become more viable due to the increase in rent one can charge. That's how life works. I'm all for this historic credits, but come on. This is nothing more than a developer trying to play the game and squeeze more free money out of the state. I certainly am not going to lose sleep over him and his over the top rhetoric.

MikeN
MikeN

Duty Free may be part of it. I think its a card to be played to keep his Senate allies in place. Kennedy and Grisanti are both up for re election and this would be a huge win for them in the home stretch.

factoid
factoid

"That bill has been passed by both the State Senate and Assembly, but incredibly, hasn't been forwarded to the Governor for consideration."

How is it the governor's fault?

MikeN
MikeN

Unless its the Trico building. Then he can come back. Would seem to be the only other building of a similar size, layout and location. Maybe just maybe this could be ok.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Cuomo and his band of idiots must be too busy trying to get a bigger Duty Free so they can get bigger political donations. Big fumble, Andrew. Sort of like McKelvin taking the kickoff out of the endzone in '09.

rb09
rb09

The city did promise $5 million for the exterior renovations of the Statler in lieu of demolition...

They haven't followed through with the promise.

Same old city hall... At a snails pace.

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

Start it. You'll have tons of signatures.

JimB
JimB

Agreed. I don't think this is the end of the project. Rocco clearly wants to call the Governor out on this. There's no excuse for the delay by Cuomo. Veto it or sign it.

Buffplanner
Buffplanner

I would like to propose the creation of a online petition to be sent to the governor, similiar to what was used when Uniland wanted to build the condo in gates circle. Even if the funds came out of the "Buffalo Billion", A major barrier to Buffalo's redevelopment is that the downtown looks awful, particularly Main Street. This is game changing legislation folks.

MikeN
MikeN

In the end I think this is just posturing. Termini has too much money in the surrounding area to let this block remain the way it is forever and until another building is announced I am skeptical that this is hard deadline.

That being said its an epic failure by not only State officials, but by the City.

The City offered $5mln for the Statler in lieu of the cost of demolition.

The City should have stepped in and backstopped the $7mln in the interim until this bill eventually does pass especially if it meant 500 jobs in an otherwise deadzone. Place a silent lien on the property if need be. You could have probably funded it out of the Billion for Buffalo.

You are spending untold millions to bring cars to Main Street.

Millions more just down the Harborfront.

This all stinks badly. But in the end is probably the only way to get things done.

elmdog
elmdog

sucks but Rocco said this morning that he already has a building in mind and has 500 workes that would move in...I imagine that s portion of those may come from outside city limits....

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