Tonawanda News — More than seven years after Kissling Interests purchased the mostly vacant Remington Rand building on Sweeney Street in North Tonawanda and pumped more than $25 million in renovations into the historic location, the investment is paying off with an award from Preservation Buffalo Niagara.
Preservation Buffalo Niagara has named the Remington Lofts as one of 16 buildings and individuals to be recognized at its annual awards luncheon Friday at Kleinhans Musical Hall in Buffalo.
The exact award the building will receive won’t be announced until Friday, part of a new initiative by Preservation Buffalo Niagara to hand out more than one yearly award for the first time in its history.
“Our committee decided it would be nice if we could expand the number of people who got publicly recognized for their projects,” said Richard Baer, life trustee of PBN and chairman emeritus of Baer and Associates.
There are a variety of categories with tiers of awards — terra cotta, silver and bronze — within each. The Remington Rand building is being honored as an adaptive reuse project.
Baer said he once worked in the North Tonawanda building when it was still being used for manufacturing and was impressed by the level of reconstruction that went into its overhaul by Kissling Interests.
“It’s a building that someone could have easily said ‘Let’s just blow the whole thing away and start from scratch,’ ” he said. “From my vantage point they won out over other similar projects because after we went out there it seemed to have the most influence on the surrounding neighborhood.”
Kissling said it was the surrounding community that initially drew him to the project. He first heard of the mostly vacant building in 2003 and was immediately intrigued by its location.
“It’s between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. It’s just a great little town ... you have the Riviera Theatre, which is a great place, a lot of bars and shopping in Tonawanda across the bridge,” Kissling said. “The location is great and I think North Tonawanda will be the next little Ellicottville.”