Ter­mini plans to cre­ate pool club at in­dus­trial site on Chandler Street

‘We want it to feel like a lush oa­sis’

The Buffalo News - - BUSINESS - By Jonathan D. Epstein NEWS BUSI­NESS RE­PORTER

Rocco Ter­mini is ea­ger to see his new in­cu­ba­tor projects on Chandler Street swim­ming in happy ten­ants.

But first, he just wants to see his happy ten­ants swim­ming – at least by Me­mo­rial Day of next year.

Ter­mini, owner of Sig­na­ture De­vel­op­ment Buf­falo, is work­ing with ar­chi­tect Ben­jamin Siegel on a plan to cre­ate a pool club in the midst of the in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial block that he is re­de­vel­op­ing in North Buf­falo.

The Chandler Pool Club would be aimed at the younger clien­tele that are ex­pected to fre­quent Tappo Pizza, Thin Man Brew­ery and the Buf­falo Cider Hall in the ad­ja­cent build­ings, as well as fam­i­lies that live nearby, Siegel said. Lo­cated at 140 Chandler, the club would of­fer both yearly mem­ber­ships and day passes for any­one who wants to use it, for un­de­ter­mined fees.

The stand-alone club, whose cost is es­ti­mated at $1 mil­lion, would be a new and un­usual ad­di­tion to what is other­wise a bleak strip of in­dus­trial build­ings that Ter­mini is con­vert­ing into com­mer­cial and restaurant space.

“We’re try­ing to cre­ate a des­ti­na­tion on Chandler Street, and I feel do­ing some­thing out of the or­di­nary will help us make this street a des­ti­na­tion,” Ter­mini said. “It’s been done in other cities.”

Those pre­vi­ous ven­tures have re­sulted in 160,000 square feet of space at 155 and 166 Chandler that now house a mix­ture of tech­nol­ogy firms, of­fices, brew­eries, a restaurant and ban­quet fa­cil­ity, a gym and a sa­lon.

More than 700 peo­ple work in or visit those build­ings, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments submitted to the city Preser­va­tion Board as part of a re­cent re­quest to de­mol­ish an ag­ing struc­ture at 125 Chandler that will now be a park­ing lot to ser­vice ten­ants of the larger fa­cil­i­ties.

Ter­mini is also work­ing on a third in­cu­ba­tor project, to trans­form two old ware­houses at 27 and 37 Chandler into a 35,000-square-foot small busi­ness hub for about 30 food ven­dors and re­lated busi­nesses, with links to SUNY Buf­falo State and the state’s Start-Up NY ini

Chandler

tia­tive.

Siegel said that Ter­mini had orig­i­nally pro­posed a pool as part of the court­yard at 155 Chandler, across the street, but that was nixed by the State His­toric Preser­va­tion Of­fice and Na­tional Park Ser­vice, which “wanted to main­tain the in­dus­trial look.” So Ter­mini de­cided to move the project across the street.

“It’s an in­dus­trial site and we aren’t try­ing to hide that fact. We are try­ing to build upon it ac­tu­ally,” Siegel said. “We want it to feel like a lush oa­sis within all this in­dus­trial hard­ness.”

The pool would be limited to 4 or 5 feet in depth, Siegel said. Seat­ing around the perime­ter of the club would be raised 28 inches above the pool “so every­one has a view to the wa­ter,” he said.

Plans call for use of a ship­ping con­tainer to house a bar, with mu­rals and graf­fiti dec­o­rat­ing the sur­round­ing 8-foot con­crete walls and ex­ist­ing build­ings nearby. Tappo Pizza would pro­vide the food, and “we hope to have live mu­sic most days,” Siegel said.

Ter­mini and Siegel are work­ing to re­fine the de­sign and fin­ish con­struc­tion doc­u­ments “in the next few months be­fore ob­tain­ing build­ing per­mits and ap­provals from the Buf­falo Sewer Author­ity and state Health De­part­ment.”

Siegel said they don’t ex­pect to need ei­ther city Plan­ning Board or Zon­ing Board of Ap­peals ap­provals.

They hope to break ground in March 2020 and fin­ish by Me­mo­rial Day, in time for the sum­mer swim­ming sea­son.

Seat­ing around the perime­ter of the club would be raised 28 inches above the pool so every­one has a view of the wa­ter.

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