Statler Ready To Host 4,000 For New Year's Eve Party | News
Buffalo, N.Y. - Back in March, Buffalo developer Mark Croce was like the governor who makes a last minute phone call to save a prisoner from the electric chair.
"There's no question this building wasn't even on life support, it was on death row," said Croce.
Croce was the only bidder at a bankruptcy auction to buy the Statler Building.
Built in the 1920's, at one time the Statler was the largest hotel between New York and Chicago.
Over the decades, it was home to every big gala and black tie dinner in town.
Now, Croce is putting the finishing touches on an initial four million dollar renovation that includes a brand new lobby bar and lounge.
He's also restored five different venues in the building as he tries to make the Statler's future as glorious as its past.
Scott Brown: "Honestly did you have some fear or trepidation when it comes to this stuff?"
Mark Croce: "I'm fearless when it comes to this stuff, you know me, build it and they will come."
And come they will, Croce is expecting close to four thousand people for next week's New Year's Eve Ice Ball.
Mark Croce: "People in Buffalo love the building, they're supporting the building and they're saying thank you in a big way."
So far, Croce has focused his restoration on the basement, first floor and mezzanine levels.
Next up will come the towers themselves.
Scott Brown: "Three years, five years from now, what can you envision here?"
Mark Croce: "In three to five years you're going to have apartments in here, you're going to have a substantial hotel on this property, you're going to have some commercial tenants on this property."
Scott Brown: "As a guy who only does business in Buffalo, is dedicated to Buffalo,what does this mean to you?"
Mark Croce: "This type of project, it's a legacy project- this is decades of work, this isn't going to happen overnight, redeveloping this building. I'm a Buffalo guy and this project is the one crown jewel in my portfolio. This is a one of a kind building that can't be replicated anywhere."
The Statler is rapidly becoming the wedding destination in the area - Croce says he's almost fully booked for next year and is already taking reservations into 2014.
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