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Tonawanda approves housing development

After considering the issue for several years, City of Tonawanda officials are ready to move ahead on a new housing development next to Veterans Park, across the street from the Niagara River.

The Common Council last week agreed to name Natale Builders Corp. of Williamsville as the developer for the 16-acre site, commonly known as Little League Drive. Officials hope to see 55 to 60 single-family homes built there.

"Anything that can help increase our [tax] base can't be anything but a good thing," said Council President Carleton Zeisz, after approving the developer.

The development would take from eight to 12 months to build. Natale is expected to submit detailed site plans to the city, as well as evidence of being able to complete the project. Zeisz said the developer would assume all infrastructure costs on the project.

"We did not want to be put in a position where we had to expend funds," he said. "The short-term plan is to have the developer make up drawings in about three months, at which time we will have a public forum. We are not turning the property over to the developer at this point."

The residential development would be Tonawanda's first in at least a decade.

The Tonawanda City School District was also interested in the property, in hopes of expanding athletic fields at the high school and middle school campus.

However, Zeisz told Superintendent Whitney Vantine that the city was moving ahead with its own plans.

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