Construction begins on $65-M restoration of historic NY mill

Construction has begun on the $65-million restoration of the American Mill & Warehouse in Buffalo, New York. Image courtesy Generation Development Group
Construction has begun on the $65-million restoration of the American Mill & Warehouse in Buffalo, New York.
Image courtesy Generation Development Group

Construction has started on the $65-million restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic American Mill & Warehouse building in Buffalo, New York. This phase is intended to not only recondition a local industrial landmark, but also address and meet current housing and other community needs.

Built in 1906, the more-than-a-century-old American Warehouse once functioned as both a storage facility and research and development operation for the American Malting Company. Currently zoned as “Flex Industrial” under the Buffalo Green Code, phase one includes the existing American Mill & Warehouse and an adjacent surface lot area, which will be landscaped, paved, and beautified, offering an eventual 200+ spaces for residents, neighbors, and guests.

“We are extremely honored to not only take on a historic restoration of this magnitude and significance, but also to help advance a community-driven vision for how we reimagine the American Mill & Warehouse property,” said Marvin Wilmoth, managing principal of Generation Development Group. “The overall revitalization of Silo City will have an important focus on facilitating meaningful growth by addressing the region’s need for affordable and mixed income housing, as well as creating opportunities for economic and cultural advancement.”

The American Mill & Warehouse is currently listed on the National Historic Registry and is positioned among a series of iconic grain mills and other turn-of-the-19th century structures that dot the landscape of the City of Buffalo’s waterfront.

The phase one restoration includes 168 residential units. Additional common area amenities envisioned for the building include a wellness/fitness center, resident lounges and gathering spaces, offices and conference rooms, a business incubator, several large atriums, arts and exhibit spaces, and a hydroponic container farm. The structure will also have several exterior patio and outdoor spaces with ornamental lighting, solar lighting, various coverings, niche gardens, public access pathways, water recirculation and retention features, and other environmentally conscious attributes.

As part of the preservation of the existing building, the development team intends to utilize various salvaged materials during the adaptive reuse effort. This entails features such as exposed steel, polished concrete floors and columns, distressed brick, and original machines, carts, and railings. Many other industrial-themed furnishings, fixtures, and décor have been selected to be part of the interior and exterior design programs.

Due to Silo City’s expanding role in Western New York’s arts and cultural scene, the American Mill & Warehouse restoration will also explore utilization of the structure for exhibition galleries, and venues for visual, performing, and other forms of art that invite participation and diverse audience activation.

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