Central Terminal Auctioned for $100,000
Buffalo News, October 29, 1986
Thomas J Dolan
The landmark Central Terminal on Buffalo’s East Side was sold at a tax auction Tuesday for $100,000 to a 34-year-old Buffalo contractor who said he plans to restore and develop it.
Thomas Telesco, the sole bidder for the vacant former Penn Central railway station, hugged his wife, Lynn, smiled at the applause and congratulations from a crowd of about 100 persons attending the auction, then dug in his pocket for the required down payment of $20,000.
“I have some very interesting plans for the building,” Telesco said, “but I don’t want to announce them today. I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
“I had to come along with him because he was nervous,” Mrs. Telesco said.
Telesco, operator of Telesco Associates of 488 W. Utica, hinted that he plans to develop the huge, aging building at 495 Paderewski Drive using some new ideas and some of the dreams of Anthony Fedele, the previous owner and president of the now-bankrupt Central Terminal Plaza. “I’m a builder, and it’s a very interesting place, a beautiful and overlooked piece of architecture,” Telesco said.
“I will say this to the preservationists: We are not going to ruin what we consider to be an Art Deco masterpiece. The first job will be to clean and restore the main concourse.”
Telesco said he is a general contractor who has developed housing and commercial buildings in Buffalo and suburbs.
One of the first to congratulate Telesco was Fedele, who bought the building for $75,000 in 1981 and has failed to pay nearly $300,000 in back property taxes, sewer rents, interest and penalties since then.
Fedele also has failed to find backing for a $54 million renovation project and a variety of schemes to turn the property into a money making operation.
Recently it was the site of a PAL boxing tournament.
But he remained upbeat. “My dream will come true,” Fedele said. “These guys (Telesco Associates) have a few ideas that I didn’t have, and they’re younger.”
Fedele said he intended to stay on in the building as an associate of the new owner, with whom he has had earlier discussions, but there were no definite plans.
Telesco said Fedele will be “either a caretaker or a curator.”