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Grain Elevator Reuse

What would you reuse this building for?

  • Brewery sounds good

    Votes: 8 34.8%
  • Hotel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other commercial use (explain)

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Other industrial use (explain)

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • Knock the eyesore down!

    Votes: 5 21.7%
  • Just tell me when it opens, I want free beer!!!

    Votes: 5 21.7%

  • Total voters
    23

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Doing a project on the reuse of Concrete Central Grain Elevator as a Brewery.



{Mod Edit (NHPlanner): Image link fixed.}

-Seeing how Buffalo has such a vast history in brewing, and seeing how this grain elevator has such huge storage capacity, I figured what the hell. The location is ideal due its location on the Buffalo River VIA Lake Erie & Great Lakes Shipping Area (could get some cheap grain, barley, wheat, etc from the mid-west), and the rail lines that run behind it. The building is for sale for a $1 and is in great structural shape. I think its up for historical designation, if its not already on the list.
-Anyway this is just the start of some ideas, and I was wondering what other ideas yous guys would have for the reuse of such a huge building (we've got plenty of them). Its also in an Economic Redevelopment Zone, so all sorts of incentives and tax breaks.
-I was thinking I could name the beer "Rumpy's Rampage" .
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
You can see it from the interstate and the skyway. Yep I was thinking about a HUGE neon sign.

-Hey thanks NH Planner!!:b:
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
I've always dreamt of putting up aclimbing wall/gym in one of those things. Even though, I hardly know a thing about climbing proper. I've done it a few times, that's it. I just like the idea of reusing grain elevators for this. They're ideal, really. They're tall, you can do all kinds of stuff inside. Stillwater MN has a great example that's also an outdoor gear store. Of course, climbing girls rock too.



I love strong, muscular backs....

edit to add--oh, wow, didn't know it was, um BIG. Maybe 6 or 7 separate climbing walls then, eh?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
martini said:
I've always dreamt of putting up aclimbing wall/gym in one of those things.
People have thought about that as a use, but how about climbing it and having a Frosty one after reaching the top. Some people currently use buildings like these in the area as battlegrounds for paint ball.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Are you thinking micro-brewery or mega-brewery? The large brewers have been consolidating and closing breweries all over the country. LaCrosse has struggled a long time to keep the local brewery running (second company since MIller left). That facility was a brewery and had the benefit of a skilled work force. If they struggle under those circumstances, you'd have a much harder time retrofitting an old building.

Are there any environmental issues? Asbestos? Structural problems?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Cardinal said:
Are you thinking micro-brewery or mega-brewery?
Are there any environmental issues? Asbestos? Structural problems?
I was thinking micro, with i restaurant at the top of the building as part of the gig and eventually becoming a mega-brewer if warranted (plenty of room to expand) The only environmental issues I can think of is that it might be located adjacent to brownfields. I don't think asbestos is an issue and the structure is rock solid (reinforced steel bar concrete).
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
1. Knock some holes in the adjoining walls and fill the silos with barriers and make it the world's largest indoor spelunking/ micro brew.

2. Fill it with water and use it for deep water scuba.

3. Fill it with those plastic balls like they have at Mickey D's.

4. Use it to keep political prisoners under the new Ashcroft "Constitution-Lite" Administration.

5. Fill it with Jello (TM)
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
mmmm....beer. In some of those old buildings anything would be great, but a brewery sounds good. A flour mill in Tempe was going to be a hotel, but that fell through. To preserve it, I think the City of Tempe just bought it. When we got a brewery it was Gordon Biersch. Not that great. One thing I do love about breweries in old buildings is they tend to preserve the building and open space in the industiral buildings they occupy.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
I like it as a brewery if the market supports that. It would be a pretty cool brewery tour, for sure! GO BEER!
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
el Guapo said:
4. Use it to keep political prisoners under the new Ashcroft "Constitution-Lite" Administration.
-I remember that some firm from NYC wanted to turn some of the grain elevators into privatized prisions. That fell through faster than Chevy Chase's talkshow.

]Originally posted by ludes98
mmmm....beer. In some of those old buildings anything would be great, but a brewery sounds good. A flour mill in Tempe was going to be a hotel, but that fell through
-I've heard of other places where they've been turned into hotels, like in Ohio and in Germany. I think Toronto is turning their last remaining one into the Canadian Rock&Roll Hall of Fame or some thing like that.

-I'm all about the beer however :b:
 
Messages
5,352
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31
Knock it down and use the site as parking for the new EXTREME Super Walmart that will be built on that portion of the river (after it's been filled in of course). ;)
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Rumpy Tuna said:
I think Toronto is turning their last remaining one into the Canadian Rock&Roll Hall of Fame or some thing like that.
Wow, that seems like a lot of space to dedicate to Brian Adams. ;)
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Planderella said:
Knock it down and use the site as parking for the new EXTREME Super Walmart that will be built on that portion of the river (after it's been filled in of course). ;)
Cynicism rears its ugly head. Not that parking lot wouldn't be great there. Plus when they start selling Chinese cars for $5K at the store they will need the space.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
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4,473
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25
RichmondJake said:
It's got micro-brew/sports bar written all over it. :b: :b:
And with all the available space in the area, it would be a great place to relocate the Buffalo Bills back to. Just think getting plastered with Rumpy's Rampage (copyright, copyright) at the brewery and then taken a boat down to the game across the river from downtown There's plenty of remediated brownfield sites in that area of the city, although I don't think it will happen (another pipe dream).
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
ludes98 said:
Cynicism rears its ugly head. Not that parking lot would be great there. Plus when they start selling Chinese cars for $5K at the store they will need the space.
I want a $5K car! Wait, I have 2 $2.5K cars already. Nevermind.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
don't forget

celine dion, avril lavine, shania twain, bachman turner overdrive, the guess who, killer dwarves, kim mitchell, DOA, Forgotten Rebels, haywire, helix, gowan, men without hats, cory hart, luba, martha and the muffins......

i could go on for hours
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
As much as I would like it to be a brewery, you need something else. Because:

1) For a microbrewery that you thinking about, you need only have 300 to 500 square feet of space initially.

2) The bigest problem with your average brew pub is that they are BORING AS HEAVEN ON A SATURDAY NIGHT!

3) The beer is ALWAYS overpriced. The mega brewers put an ounce on the table, from the fields to you, for about 2.5 cents per ounce. A micro brewer is a bit more expensive, so the price is about 38 to 50 cents a pint.

a) The product is then an overpriced beer for an acceptable poduct
b) The product is aimed at people who no longer drink often enough to support the brewery properly
c) The beer is a lost leader, a brewpub is usually a way to get middle aged people out to eat.



Solution, buy the building, use multiple uses such as residential spaces that people build to suit. A brewery with two or three pubs dispensing alcahol from the same spigot. All of them named something different with different labels. Each label pegged at a different price in order to cover the collage crowd to the empty nesters. Include some specialized entertainment areas.

OK, that my idea any way. :)
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,482
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41
donk said:
don't forget

celine dion, avril lavine, shania twain, bachman turner overdrive, the guess who, killer dwarves, kim mitchell, DOA, Forgotten Rebels, haywire, helix, gowan, men without hats, cory hart, luba, martha and the muffins......

i could go on for hours
But you don't have to. Two Words: Neil Young, eh!
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Duke Of Dystopia said:
Solution, buy the building, use multiple uses such as residential spaces that people build to suit. A brewery with two or three pubs dispensing alcahol from the same spigot. All of them named something different with different labels. Each label pegged at a different price in order to cover the collage crowd to the empty nesters. Include some specialized entertainment areas.

OK, that my idea any way. :)
-These are pretty good ideas, expecially multiple uses for a building that size. I think with the amount of storage space in the building itself should be able to lower the price of the brew by storing some of the grain bought in bulk. Different uses sounds like a good idea, for different drinkers. Residential use sounds good to me, and you could even through some hotel rooms in there as well.
-But remember, Rumpy's Rampage will never be overpriced!!!:b:
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,915
Points
36
You can find out more on Toronto's on-agin/off-again "Metronome" project here . Not sure what the status is right now.

EDIT - pic deleted, that was way too big - sorry.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
Rumpy Tuna said:
-....I think with the amount of storage space in the building itself should be able to lower the price of the brew by storing some of the grain bought in bulk. ......-But remember, Rumpy's Rampage will never be overpriced!!!:b:
You might actually have a brewpub that could be interesting to visit.

$1 pints will give you the volume you need to pack the place crazy, leading to a need for VAST quatities of beer to be produced. :)

Also, at that price, you can make an OK beer for a GREAT price, and people will percieve it to be AMAZING! I can hear the cash register ringing now! :)

You could sponsor a "Lesbian Night at the Grain Elevator". Don't envite the cops :)
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
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4,473
Points
25
Duke Of Dystopia said:
You might actually have a brewpub that could be interesting to visit.

$1 pints will give you the volume you need to pack the place crazy, leading to a need for VAST quatities of beer to be produced. You could sponsor a "Lesbian Night at the Grain Elevator". Don't envite the cops :)
-Lets up the ante', how bought throwing some bowling lanes in there. And $4 pitchers....
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
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44
Rumpy Tuna said:
-Lets up the ante', how bought throwing some bowling lanes in there. And $4 pitchers....
At those prices and these customers, you better call the sewer plant early in the evening and tell 'em to amp it up!!!
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
Points
12
Weighty Challenge

After reading all the posts about a brewer's-adaptation, I naturally got excited, given my preoccupation with brew-pursuits. But Buffalo has a good brewpub already...the Pearl Street...and that market couldn't sustain both until some "magic economic renaissance" which has eluded the city for such a long time transpires.

I'd say advertising or storage would be good bets. And retain one in original condition for archival purposes (an industrial age theme park?) to show future generations that something was "indeeed made here" before all of our productive capacity was shipped overseas and sold back to us.....
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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4,473
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25
Re: Weighty Challenge

Miles Ignatius said:
After reading all the posts about a brewer's-adaptation, I naturally got excited, given my preoccupation with brew-pursuits. But Buffalo has a good brewpub already...the Pearl Street...and that market couldn't sustain both until some "magic economic renaissance" which has eluded the city for such a long time transpires.

I'd say advertising or storage would be good bets. And retain one in original condition for archival purposes (an industrial age theme park?) to show future generations that something was "indeeed made here" before all of our productive capacity was shipped overseas and sold back to us.....
-Yes Pearl Street has good beer at $3, and Flying Bison also has a brewery that you can tour, but $1 beers and all the other wackiness could make this work. Storage of grain and other materials would make the overhead costs low, plus if you did a little haggling with the transportation authority and got them to extend the light rail to the place (tracks run right behind the building) and set up some places for the boats to tie down, I think this thing could fly, reguardless of the current economics in Buffalo.
 

Otis

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5,169
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29
Duke Of Dystopia said:
The beer is ALWAYS overpriced. The mega brewers put an ounce on the table, from the fields to you, for about 2.5 cents per ounce. A micro brewer is a bit more expensive, so the price is about 38 to 50 cents a pint.
Let's see, if a pint is 16 ounces . . . the mega brewers do 40 cents a pint. Hmmm.


There's a hotel in a grain elevator in Akron. The Buffalo building is so big you could do a brewery, a hotel, lofts, self-storage, a Wal-mart, a Home Depot, a parking lot, a performing arts center, and an NBA/NHL arena and still have space left over for Sifried and Roy to do a tiger show. Sigfried anyway.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
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4,473
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25
Rich Townsend said:
Let's see, if a pint is 16 ounces . . . the mega brewers do 40 cents a pint. Hmmm.


There's a hotel in a grain elevator in Akron. The Buffalo building is so big you could do a brewery, a hotel, lofts, self-storage, a Wal-mart, a Home Depot, a parking lot, a performing arts center, and an NBA/NHL arena and still have space left over for Sifried and Roy to do a tiger show. Sigfried anyway.
LOL, maybe I could get Sigfried a lesbian partner. I've heard about the Hotel in Akron. Hmmmnnn.......
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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24
If your serious about doing something with the elevator, tell us what is around it. Is it close to other entertainment, boating, residential, or some kind of use that people would naturally go to on thier own. Would you be creating a "hidden little spot" of activity that can stand alone?

If you have a brewpub that is viable on its own, you would have to do the research to vary your market from the other a bit. Buffalo should be able to handle another one as Madison WI has 2 or 3 just blocks away from each other. Green Bay has 2 within a stones throw of each other also.

With a lack of commercial brewing experience, you will need to start out smaller. A commercial brewery itself is not that huge. Linenkugels has one just off the highway on I-43 north to Green Bay out of Milwaukee. I am guessing that plant is only about 15k to 20k in square footage.

You are going to need some other kind of draw. The bowling alley works good. Make some kind of contract that says any use that sells alcahol must carry your beer in thier stock. ( captive market, YAY! :) )
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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Rich Townsend said:
Let's see, if a pint is 16 ounces . . . the mega brewers do 40 cents a pint. Hmmm.
Most mega brewers sell by the 12 ounce bottle in most venue's. Thats 30 cents per bottle. Arn't you glad you get to shell out $2 to $2.50 per bottle of swill? The price of the container to drink it in is included.

Micro-brewers can put a pint on the table for 40 to 50 cents because they do not have the cost of bottling or shipping. They draw from casks of beer on wheels. In other words, the price from vat to table includes the discount for bulk containers. Once you start talking about bottling and shipping the price per unit skyrockets.

Put it this way. A bottling machine will initially cost you more than the brweing equipment and the brewmaster to make the beer.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,437
Points
27
Make it a Lesbian micro-brewery. With all the influx of lesbians, there sould be some good number of lipstick lesbians who are also bi. So we (all men) should have a chance to fulfill our one commoon fantasy. We could think of some name or names for the brew - that would warrant an entirely new thread.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Duke Of Dystopia said:
If your serious about doing something with the elevator, tell us what is around it. Is it close to other entertainment, boating, residential, or some kind of use that people would naturally go to on thier own. Would you be creating a "hidden little spot" of activity that can stand alone?

With a lack of commercial brewing experience, you will need to start out smaller. A commercial brewery itself is not that huge. Linenkugels has one just off the highway on I-43 north to Green Bay out of Milwaukee. I am guessing that plant is only about 15k to 20k in square footage.

You are going to need some other kind of draw. The bowling alley works good. Make some kind of contract that says any use that sells alcahol must carry your beer in thier stock. ( captive market, YAY! :) )
-Keep in mind that this is a project I am currently working on, but in the long haul, this is something I would like to do.
-I'll put a link to the site of where the Grain Elevator is located.

http://erie-gis.co.erie.ny.us/website/buffalony/Viewer.htm links not working right, let me find another pic.
-the red dots are where the parcel of land the building is on is located.
-The building is located in an industrial area along the buffalo river and is about 2 minutes from downtown (driving). About a 10-15 minute walk. Residential areas exist to the east and north.
There's boating access, railroad access, but the road access would have to be improved. It could actually be a stand alone type of place. As for starting out I would have to start out small but in reality I would like to do this some day.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
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25
I know metro Buffalo is declining (I just finished reading High Hopes), but how is the city doing? From what I understand, central cities even in metros with declining populations like Cincinatti are looking up. If so, maybe there are loft possibilities. I'm assuming this grain elevator isn't a brownfield, how about the areas around it? And if so, how much will it cost to clean them up? Is all the industry around it abandoned or are there still active operations there?

The trump card that hasn't been discussed is the structural layout of the building. I assume it's just a series of tall tubes. Is it possible to nock the internal walls of the tubes out to make large internal spaces (if you're going for lofts, the tubes might be big enough as they are), cut holes in the exterior walls for windows, and still have enough structural integrity to support new floors? The building may not be worth adapting. I suppose you'll need an engineering study to answer those questions.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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4,473
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25
jordanb said:
I know metro Buffalo is declining (I just finished reading High Hopes), but how is the city doing? From what I understand, central cities even in metros with declining populations like Cincinatti are looking up. If so, maybe there are loft possibilities. I'm assuming this grain elevator isn't a brownfield, how about the areas around it? And if so, how much will it cost to clean them up? Is all the industry around it abandoned or are there still active operations there?

The trump card that hasn't been discussed is the structural layout of the building. I assume it's just a series of tall tubes. Is it possible to nock the internal walls of the tubes out to make large internal spaces (if you're going for lofts, the tubes might be big enough as they are), cut holes in the exterior walls for windows, and still have enough structural integrity to support new floors? The building may not be worth adapting. I suppose you'll need an engineering study to answer those questions.
The city itself is in a fiscal mess (Gots us a control board), but there is some hope. Lofts are being put into abandoned buildings.
Area surrounding is brownfields and existing industrial businesses.
You can actually walk in side the building, sounds like its time for a field trip so I can get some pics.
 

Nemesis

Member
Messages
51
Points
4
Ok, I think I remember a plan for a grain structure in 1980. I remember visiting the site and seeing a model of apartments.

2. Brew Pub? Buffalo? Didn/t the crazy economic development folks loan millions to the owners of the one on Main Street and Chippewa with no personal guanantees or comittments and they skipped with the money over night?


3. Someone is planning adaptive reuse for a grain elevator in Baltimore. I would search The Baltimore Sun on line for the article.


Is this a MUP studio project at UB?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
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4,473
Points
25
1657SmallconcreteCenpic.jpg

Area where elevator is located.

Nemesis said:

Is this a MUP studio project at UB?
No I don't go to U.B.

Empire Brewing is probally the brewery your thinking of, although breckanridge brewing bailed out before them.

[mod note] posts merged [/mod note]
 

Suburb Repairman

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33
Convert it to missle silos for disgruntled planners to use at their discretion! :d: :p
 

tsc

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23
OhioPlanner said:
Akron, Ohio converted its grain silos into a really nice hotel/conference center
wow...just checked that out...pretty cool.

Up the Hudson by Downtown is a restaurant constructed in oil tanks...
 
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