• Join 487 other subscribers

It was a stroke of genius for Genesee Brewing Company to link the demolition of 13 Cataract St. to the planned visitors center and brew pub.

The latest chapter in the fight over 13 Cataract St. is whether it should get landmark status, halting the demolition.

The visitors center could proceed with 13 Cataract St. still standing, but company CEO Rich Lozyniak gave three big reasons that’s not going to happen:

We’re not going to invest $2.5 million dollars in this building and have a building deteriorating right next door, in front of it. Why would anyone want to come here?

(snip)

One of the winners in this thing if we walk away from it – not to be coy about it – is the prostitutes and the drug dealers who ply their trade behind that building.

(snip)

If (Cataract) becomes a landmark nobody can touch that building without government approval.

The public relations on this project has been pretty aggressive and effective. Genesee has the mayor and city council president on its side. Today it also brought out neighbors who support the project. More importantly, the idea of a brew pub and visitors center is very, very popular.

But here’s where the message falters. Lozyniak said his comments today didn’t amount to a threat to pull the project.

Threatening is not the right word…We want to do this. We want to do this really badly. If we’re going to spend the next year in court or the next two years in court, then we’ve got much better opportunities throughout our whole company to invest and we’ll put our resources there.

Among the definitions of threat is “To give signs or warning of; portend” or “an indication of something impending.”

What do you think his statements mean?

- The Cataract Building clearly needs millions of dollars of work and no one knows who would pay. Preservationists aren’t deterred, saying there are developers and programs to help problem cases.

They point to the building at University and Atlantic. Check out the before and after. I have a feeling that was a much smaller project, but I can see their point.