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West Seneca resident concerned over demolition of Garden Village Plaza

Jeanette Strianese, 74, grew fond of the brick wall outside the second-floor window of the apartment she shares with her husband at Union Square Senior Apartments in West Seneca.

"You could put a light show on the wall and I'd be thrilled. Above it is the sky. There is no graffiti, no bad language. I dreaded the day they would start doing something with the old plaza,"  Strianese said about the partial demolition underway at the long vacant Garden Village Plaza.

Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski announced Tuesday the partial demolition of the former plaza located on the southeast corner of Union and French roads.

The $20 million project from Benderson Development will redevelop the 178,000-square-foot plaza at 2343 Union by demolishing about half of it, renovating the rest and constructing 265,000 square feet of new facilities on adjoining land. Included is $750,000 for costs that involve asbestos abatement.

"I worry about air quality once they start tearing this apart," said Strianese. "There's a lot of old people here who need oxygen to live. We only have a chain link fence between our building and the plaza property."

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