BUFFALO, N.Y. — There have been efforts for nearly 20 years to renovate and refurbish Buffalo's once proud Central Terminal.

"That site is absolutely going to be redeveloped," state Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, said.

Last year, it appeared the iconic building suffered a setback. A state-funded feasibility study led to the recommendation of a downtown site as the location for a proposed new train station.

"I think the train station conversation has since passed. We are talking now about investing strategically into the Central Terminal, into the future," Kennedy said.

The Democrat, like many members of the community, favored the Central Terminal, but he said there was a silver lining.

"Once that feasibility study was completed and a decision was made, what was left behind was the momentum that had been built throughout that entire process,” he said.

This week, Kennedy said he found new reason for optimism after discussing the building during a hearing with the state's chief economic development official Howard Zemsky.

"I was very pleased with the response from Commissioner Zemsky," Kennedy said. "He made it very clear that the Central Terminal remains a top priority for the state."

The Democrat is renewing his calls for Empire State Development to earmark $5 million of the Buffalo Billion phase two for the building.

"It'll prevent future inclement weather from hurting and being a detriment to the facilities as they exist today but it will also help to give seed money to a small staff that would lead the charge on getting further investment," he said.

Kennedy believes the state investment would advance the efforts already in process to secure private sector funding. His ally, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, said it could lead to development throughout the neighborhood.

"We need to generate a lot of positive economic activity there so I support and I applaud Senator Tim Kennedy's initiative to get money as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the Central Terminal," Higgins said.