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Speedy cleanup of former Linde plant planned

Rocco Termini's first business incubator project in North Buffalo could get started almost immediately, as state environmental regulators are now proposing an "expedited cleanup" of an old commercial building on Chandler Street.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has backed an "interim remedial measure" work plan at 155-157 Chandler, starting this month, under the state Brownfield Cleanup Program. That's because the source of contamination can be "effectively addressed without extensive investigation and evaluation," according to a bulletin issued Wednesday.

The notice cited contamination of the soil with lead, PCBs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that exceed cleanup targets for restricted residential use. Plans call for excavation and off-site disposal of about 3,000 cubic yards of soil from the courtyard and vacant portions of the site, as well as removal of underground storage tanks and surrounding soil. The excavated areas will then be backfilled with cleaner fill materials.

The 2.37-acre site includes a 65,000-square-foot building surrounding a 22,000-square-foot brick-and-gravel courtyard at 155 Chandler, while the other parcel is a vacant gravel lot. Originally built in 1907, it was used by Linde Air Products until the early 1950s, and then by Bell Aircraft Corp. for several years. It was acquired in 1958 by Donald Rosen and used for machine shop G&R Machinery until the 1990s.

Termini plans to spend $8 million to convert the century-old processing facility into an 80,000-square-foot complex named the Pierce Arrow Business Center, with office space for software developers and a winery, as well as a beer tasting room and a bowling alley. A second facility across the street, at 166 Chandler, will also house incubator space, as well as Thin Man Brewery.

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