Farmer Pirates Announce Plan for HSBC Building
by Artvoice Staff (@Artvoice) - posted 12:43 pm, April 1, 2013
Buffalo – The Farmer Pirates Cooperative, a cooperative of urban farms and market gardens based on Buffalo’s East Side have announced a plan for the redevelopment of the tower at One HSBC Center. The farmers’ plan is to utilize the building’s 1.2 million square feet as greenhouse space, both to extend the growing season into the winter and to start plants for outdoor growing.
Farmer Pirates was founded in 2012 by the farmers of the Michigan Riley Farm in Masten Park, the Wilson Street Urban Farm, and the Buffalo Grange in the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood. The cooperative’s members share equipment and collectively own the land used by the Michigan Riley Farm and the Buffalo Grange.
“Everyone knows that space is at a premium in Buffalo,” said Robert Galbraith, a spokesman for the Farmer Pirates. “Vertical growing is the future of urban agriculture, and what better place is there than the city’s tallest building?”
The Farmer Pirates are hoping that owner Seneca One Realty will donate the building to their cooperative and that the mortgage holder will forgive the $75 million due in January 2015.
“In the alternative, we plan to crowdsource the funding,” said Galbraith. “We successfully raised $15,000 in our Kickstarter campaign last year and it’s not a stretch to say we can repeat that. The people of Buffalo are tremendous supporters of urban agriculture and we should have absolutely no problem raising the necessary funds through small donations.”