Exterior restoration work on the Statler City building on Niagara Square is moving forward, now that $5.3 million in state development funding has been made available to developer Mark Croce.
Mayor Byron Brown stood alongside Croce in front of the historic structure Tuesday morning to kick off the renovation project. Three floors of the 18-story Statler have already been transformed into bars and ballroom space for special events.
"The exterior renovation of this building is a great investment in Buffalo. By helping to secure these funds, the Stater City Restoration effort can continue the progress and the timing could be better," Brown said.
Croce says the next step is fixing the building's deteriorating facade. The exterior work will involve restoring the building's terra cotta, its marquee and its store fronts.
"The big issue is dealing with all the public safety issues so that people can enjoy the property again. We're going to look at rebuilding the entranceway and rebuilding the marquees and making them grand like they once were because this was the crown jewel of downtown Buffalo at one time and we believe in the very near future it's going to be the crown jewel once again," Croce said.
The downtown landmark was slated for demolition before Croce purchased it for $700,000 in 2011.
Croce says contractors should be on site in the coming weeks and scaffolding, fencing and sidewalk barriers on the Delaware Avenue side of building could come down by the end of construction season.