The developer behind a proposed 40-unit condominium building at Elmwood and Forest avenues is preparing to start work on the project site next week, beginning with an environmental cleanup of asbestos and other materials.
Chason Affinity Companies said Friday it hired Niagara Falls-based Apollo Dismantling Services to begin remediation work on various properties. The company will perform the job in stages, prior to starting any demolition work, and workers will put up fencing around the perimeter of 605 and 607 Forest Ave. early next week, Chason said.
"We are very excited to begin preparation work at the project site," said company President Mark Chason. "Our primary concern for the remediation of the existing properties is the health and safety of the surrounding community, as well as completing the work with as little disruption as possible."
Chason's project features a four-story building with 33 one- and two-story condominiums and seven walk-up townhomes, all for purchase. The project will also include three first-floor retail spaces and one floor of underground parking.
The project has been a source of significant controversy and opposition within the Elmwood Village neighborhood, where critics complained that the proposal violates the new Green Code and would damage the character of the neighborhood and their quality of life. They say the building, at four stories and 315 feet in length, is too big for the area.
The battle held up the project for months as it wound through the municipal approval process, before the Zoning Board of Appeals granted eight variances and the Planning Board approved the project in late July. Two neighbors filed a lawsuit against the city this week, seeking to overturn the approvals and stop the project, which they worry will set a precedent to allow other large projects along Elmwood.
In the meantime, construction is expected to begin this fall, with completion in spring 2019.