Where We Live: Lackawanna - The Buffalo News

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Where We Live: Lackawanna


The Friendship House is no more.

Crews from Regional Environmental Demolition expect on Monday to wrap up their work on the razing of the former Ridge Road community center, which had been closed for years.

The once-bustling building was condemned in 2007 and has been a frequent target of looters and vandals over the years.

Regional Environmental Demolition, a Niagara Falls firm that won the project with a low bid of $127,222, started demolition on Jan. 9.

City officials will now seek to redevelop the five-acre site on which the building sits.

The parcel, however, has become a source of contention.

Most city officials favor commercial development such as a shopping plaza and grocery. But Councilman Abdul Noman, who represents the 1st Ward in which the property is located, along with some 1st Ward residents, are pushing for a splash pad and new community center to be located on the site.

Also this week:

• The City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for its annual reorganization meeting and a regular meeting. The reorganizational meeting was postponed from Jan. 6 due to a blizzard.

• Council President Henry R. Pirowski has asked Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski to update the Council about any progress in his search for a new city director of development.

The city has been without a development director since Ralph D. Miranda resigned Dec. 2.

In November, multiple sources said Szymanski had been looking to appoint Robert A. Mendez, the former executive director of the Erie County Water Authority and an established political insider, in the post.

But Szymanski said he is still in the search process.

“I’m not ruling him out, but I never offered it to him in the first place,” the mayor said.

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