So, we can’t figure out what to do with this? That is too bad. In a city where there is understandable pride in the architecture and a slow moving but progressive return to urban living, The Statler is set for mothballing?? I don’t pretend to have a complete understanding of the issues and the complex legal wrangling, but it seems like if the auction winners are so in over their heads that maybe seeing what the second place guys could do. The “mighty” BERC was awfully quiet during the ramp up to the auction last fall. I’ve passed by the place a thousand times and if it gets shuttered completely that one will hurt. It’s right out there for everybody to see smack in downtown for us all to look at. It’s taken nearly 15 years from Bon-Ton abandoning downtown for those buildings to get a serious sniff of hope from Rocco Termini. Termini even suggested that UB’s law school might be interested in the Statler as a law school site given the proximity to all the surrounding court buildings. Apparently, UB doesn’t want to think about it. Given the success of the Avant and some of the other surrounding buildings, it’s too bad this one is just sitting there like a sock on a shower rod. Having only been in it a few times, I can only wonder what might keep a developer from creating that retail, office, hotel mix we are always seeking.
A number of years ago, I was in Chicago for a trade show and the show decided we needed to be at the Palmer House. It was anti-chain hotel and absolutely perfect and made me think of what the Statler must have been like during its busiest years. Too bad it seems gone and standing right there to remind us of the failing efforts to give us life. You can’t hide from that something that will continue to tower over you, even with the windows boarded up. I hope the King of Diamonds finds comfortable surroundings in short order.
We had a developer who was in over his head. Maybe the city should have found a inexperienced restauranteur to make a go of it.