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Commercial deep-sea diving firm to add storage space

A Buffalo-based commercial and industrial deep-sea diving firm plans to build two pole barns on its Katherine Street property for commercial boat and construction equipment storage.

Mark Judd's Bidco Marine Group Inc. plans to add 10,872 square feet of dry storage and maintenance space on its five-acre parcel at 220 Katherine, along the Buffalo River in the Old First Ward. The 25-year-old company handles deep-sea work for municipalities, energy producers, engineering companies and civil construction firms throughout the Northeast. It stores much of its equipment outside right now.

Formerly home to Pacific Molasses Company, a feed livestock manufacturing facility that operated from the 1950s to 1979, the industrial property was vacant for almost 30 years until Bidco bought it in 2008 for its waterfront office and marine yard. The company renovated the property, turning the boiler house into an office building for the firm's headquarters.

The $200,000 project to add the pole barns is a continuation of that original redevelopment.

The firm now plans to erect a 6,840-square foot wood-post frame building with metal cladding that will be divided into two sections with four overhead doors. It will be connected to Bidco's commercial dive shop with a bathroom, locker area and employee lunch room.

A second, 4,032-square-foot building will be used for cold-storage for boats and equipment. Both buildings, constructed by Parko Building Systems of Newfane, will be light gray and white in color, to match the existing structure.

The project was approved Monday by the Buffalo Planning Board.

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