Paladino's offer to buy Perry Housing buildings would open up 12 city blocks

May 9, 2019

Developer Carl Paladino's offer of $1 for most of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority's Perry Project has raised some eyebrows, but the Chairman of Ellicott Development says he is serious about buying and demolishing the old buildings.

The developer told WBFO attempts to reach authority officials have been met with no response, which he describes as rotten to the core.

Paladino would absorb the $10 million cost of demolishing the 53 unoccupied low-rise buildings, creating major open space, as much as 12 city blocks, locked into land and buildings Ellicott Development already owns.

The developer says he sees the open property, along Perry Street, off Scott Street and the Niagara Thruway, as a real opportunity, with development already aimed that way, to an area people used to avoid.

"Part of it was knocked down years ago, probably three or four blocks of buildings," Paladino said. "The 53 that are remaining, yes, it's a good-sized parcel. Our intentions for the future would be to build mixed-use, including housing, affordable and market-rate housing in there."

The land is part of an area also talked about for a new football stadium, a home for the Buffalo Bills. Paladino said that would be a bad idea, suggesting a better site would be the vast parking area across the street from KeyBank Center that has trains running from the old DL&W station to parking for 20,000 cars.

"Somebody commented to me that what they're doing is they're holding out, waiting for Pegula to come in and buy it so he can build a stadium there," he said. "If I were Pegula, that's the last place I would build a stadium, right? If Pegula's smart, he would build a stadium on the Cobblestone streets in that area, just off of the hockey arena."

Paladino said then he would build a walkway into the DL&W and use the train to access downtown parking. He said that would lower the cost of a new stadium.