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Officials call for cleanup of old mall site

Town officials in West Seneca claim that corporate owners of the former Seneca Mall site have neglected the property, citing numerous building violations that could warrant legal action.

The former mall plot -- which is controlled by S&R Group, a local subsidiary of Syracuse's Pyramid Cos., which also owns the Walden Galleria -- contains a Tops International supermarket and a Home Depot.

However, the 1 million-square-foot plot, which is surrounded by a wooden privacy fence, is mainly empty space, covered in marsh-like vegetation and weeds.

In 2001, the town took legal action against Pyramid based on zoning violations. In 2002, Pyramid agreed to remove piles of debris that had stood for eight years.

"The old Seneca Mall is a huge eyesore in the town, and every resident in the town highly resents the fact that the property owner does nothing to maintain the property," said Councilwoman Christina Bove.

Bove said she asked town inspectors and the town engineer to review the property for violations earlier this month.

Code enforcement officer William Czuprynski said there was "grass, stagnant water, dumping, and branches . . . that need to be taken care of."

He added: "It's like a thorn in our foot."

Town Attorney Timothy Greenan said he mailed the list of code violations to the company last week.

"I communicated the violations to the company and they said they'd take a look," he said, adding that Pyramid could face prosecution by the town if it failed to comply.

Mark Dziadaszek of MJD Contracting, the company charged with upkeep of the plot by S&R, said Pyramid abruptly instructed him to bring the property into conformity with building codes.

Dziadaszek said he was in the process of cutting down trees, removing brush, and cleaning up rubbish. He said last week that he planned to work on the tasks over the weekend although, he added, he had not been given a time frame for the cleanup.

Pyramid officials could not be reached for comment.


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