I’ve been nagging our VP of Development, Matt Connors, to take me on a tour of the Phoenix, Sinatra and Company’s adaptive reuse project, adjacent to the BNMC since about October 22. Buffalo had its first snow on October 23, and despite my best intentions, I was not enthused about touring a cold, dark, uninsulated building in sub zero temperatures. It’s a good thing I don’t work in the construction or maintenance departments! But, alas, the weather has cleared and I arrived at the doorway of Matt’s office on one of our first sunny days, and he obliged me with a tour.
First off, I noticed that the building was pretty clean. Matt explained that much of the building had been used for furniture storage, long after its brewing days ended. Apparently, it was quite a site, jammed with stored goods. This needless to say, took some time to clean out.
As we continued throughout the building, there were numerous pockets where the previous owner must have had a plan or a vision, but never quite got to where he was going. Matt explained that sadly, all these efforts will now have to be deconstructed.
To my greatest surprise, was coming across what could only be described as a “War Room”. Until now, this is where most of the actual work has happened. Other than the litter of a few too many Tim Horton’s cups, this room was a nod to the meticulousness of our Construction Manager, Cole Hatley, and his superintendent, Tim Spitler. Well organized sets of plans, material samples and color coded proposals and bids were laid out, reminding me of an undisturbed swimming pool before the party jumps in.
At the conclusion of our tour is what I will refer to as “the money shot”. A walk up to the roof lays out a view of Main Street and the BNMC that lies in stark contrast to what the view must have been even five, but especially ten years ago.