Historic, 500,000-square-foot, former windshield wiper factory will offer 242 apartments, 10% of which will be affordable, workforce housing units, plus 60,000 square-feet of office space
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Krog Group founder and CEO Peter L. Krog announced the $112 million adaptive reuse of the historic TRICO windshield wiper plant is “moving full steam ahead.” The project, one of the largest in the city’s history, was put on hold in March 2020, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, following the completion of brownfield remediation and partial demolition.
Brown’s team said, “During that standstill, project material costs ballooned by $30 million, and the Krog Group went back to the drawing board, replacing planned hotel space with additional apartments, and securing a new investment partner – along with $3.7 million in tax incentives from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.”
The mayor said, “The Buffalo Brownfield Restoration Corp., a subsidiary of the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. (BUDC), safeguarded this structure for redevelopment for nearly a decade, until the Krog Group came along. Fortunately, Peter Krog did not walk away when the pandemic hit and redevelopment costs skyrocketed. For that, my administration and the residents of Buffalo are extremely grateful. The Trico Apartments and the office space this project will create will be a major enhancement to downtown Buffalo, especially the neighboring Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Buffalo’s fruitbelt neighborhood.”
Krog said, “We would like to extend our gratitude to Mayor Brown, the City of Buffalo, the ECIDA, BUDC, BNMC, and all our lending partners that stuck with us through the pandemic-caused delays. The Krog Group has worked diligently on this project for over five years, and we now have all the pieces pulled together to complete this signature project. We are extremely happy to be back on schedule and look forward to a grand opening at the end of summer 2023.”
Krog Group has added Bruce Wisbaum, of BMW Management, as a project partner, with a 35% ownership stake.
The developer described the 242-unit TRICO Building Apartments as “ecoconscious and purposefully designed,” making use of the building’s large factory light windows and 14-foot ceilings.
Amenities will include a sixth-floor rooftop terrace with a dog park, fire pit, outdoor kitchen station, and club house with a fireplace, lounge, game room and community kitchen. The building will also feature a business lounge with private work stations, conference rooms, pet spa, 24/7 gym, SmartHome technology (including smart locks and thermostats), smart package lockers, door-to-door Valet trash pickup, 1GB wireless internet, an indoor parking garage with 240 heated parking spaces, smart phone building access, private resident storage lockers, bike storage, and electric vehicle charging stations.
The mix of studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, with rents starting at $1,250 a month, will range in size from 630 to 2,000 square-feet. Select units are expected to have 25-by-11-foot private balconies. Ten percent of the units will be designated as affordable, “workforce housing.”
The apartment community will be managed by LuxuryAptsWNY, which currently oversees a portfolio of four multifamily communities consisting of 800-plus units in the Amherst/Williamsville/Clarence area. Krog Group will manage the overall building with 60,000 square-feet of commercial office space.
TRICO, founded by windshield wiper inventor John R. Oishei, opened in 1917, at the corner of Ellicott and Washington streets. The sprawling factory has been idle since manufacturing ceased in 2004.