The Central Terminal Restoration Corp. and the City of Buffalo have selected the development team that will lead the 10-year, $300 million redevelopment of the East Side landmark.

CB Emmanuel Realty, Rise Community Capital and the Alexander Co. will work with the Central Terminal group and the city, first to make the long-vacant former train station complex safe, then to prepare it for reuse.

Long-term plans are still in the early stages, but preliminary ideas include retail spaces, a regional and international food hall and residential units.

“We’re looking to redevelop the Central Terminal so it represents the finest in Buffalo culture and entertainment and can be an economic engine to help rejuvenate the area around it,” said Benathan Upshaw, co-owner of CB Emmanuel.

The team has already had early conversations with potential tenants who want to be part of the planning process.

All that, however, is years in the future. The first step is stabilization and safety repairs.

Preliminary assessment and investigatory work is underway. Construction will take place throughout 2024 and 2025, according to Monica Pellegrino Faix, executive director of the CTRC. This initial work will be funded through a $61 million investment from the Regional Revitalization Partnership.

The corporation has owned the main terminal building and two other buildings in the complex since 1997. The City of Buffalo owns the parcel and two outbuildings next door.

Together, the site spans 30 acres.

The terminal has been unused since 1979. Numerous attempts to revitalize the property have been made, but they’ve accelerated in recent years. The selection of a development team is a major step, Pellegrino Faix said.

“It’s huge, because it’s really one of the big signals that starts our new future,” she said. “Some people have been working 30 years, and some people have been four or five, but we’ve really spent many, many years saving the building with legions of supporters.”

The corporation and the city spent more than a year searching for a developer for the site. CB Emmanuel, the Alexander Co. and Rise Community Capital impressed with a depth of expertise paired with local roots, Pellegrino Faix said.

“It was just a great package for us of national experience, local knowledge and our shared vision forward,” she said.

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This article was originally published by Buffalo Business First.