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Activists delay request for court order barring Freezer Queen demolition

Opponents of a proposed 23-story tower on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor have agreed to hold off on their request for a court order barring demolition of the existing Freezer Queen building.

A lawyer for the four environmentalists suing over the project said they agreed to the delay after the developer, Queen City Landing LLC, said it had no plans to demolish the building for at least 45 days.

Arthur J. Giacalone, who represents the four, said his clients reserved the right to renew their request for a temporary restraining order if Queen City moves ahead with its demolition plans.

Meanwhile, the developer’s interior asbestos-removal work will begin as planned.

“We look forward to beginning the first phase of work at the Queen City Landing site as planned and completing that work as scheduled," said Phil Pantano, the developer’s spokesman.

Pantano said it was never Queen City’s intention to demolish the building without first conducting the asbestos abatement.

State Supreme Court Justice Donna M. Siwek ordered the two sides to next appear in her courtroom Aug. 24.

The agreement between the two parties came just a week after the four activists filed their lawsuit claiming the 23-story tower is inappropriate for the Outer Harbor.

They also claim the city Planning Board and Common Council worked together to “fast track” the project and that the city ignored zoning and environmental review regulations.

Queen City’s plans for the site adjacent to Safe Harbor Marina (formerly the Small Boat Harbor) call for demolition of the Freezer Queen building and construction of a 23-story apartment building.