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NYSDEC, Termini plan speedy cleanup of Chandler site

Developer Rocco Termini and state officials are preparing to move forward with an "expedited cleanup of contamination" at one of his Chandler Street properties, prior to starting work on his plan to convert the building into another business incubator.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public comment through April 7 on an "interim remedial measure" proposal that "is likely to represent a significant part of the cleanup for this site," according to a state document. Such cleanups are used when the source of contamination can be fixed "without extensive investigation and evaluation."

The work plan calls for excavation and disposal of contaminated soil in vacant areas of the 0.48-acre site, as well as the removal of underground storage tanks and surrounding soil. That soil was already found to have metals and hydrocarbons.

The excavated areas would then be backfilled with clean soil or fill. Additionally, any lead-based paint and asbestos would be removed from the four-story, 43,000-square-foot building located on the eastern portion of the property.

The state will consider public comments and make changes to the plan if needed. If approved, the cleanup work would begin in May.

The building was originally constructed in 1907 for a dairy machine manufacturer, with later additions in 1909, 1919, 1927 and 1931, according to the state documents. It was later used by a grocery company, Linde Air Products, Sponge Air Seat Co. and Barcalo Manufacturing. It's been vacant for 20 years.

Termini's Signature Development Buffalo LLC plans to renovate the brick and masonry building, while constructing a one-story, 9,000-square-foot metal addition along one side where a former wooden section burned down 12 years ago. The project is modeled after Termini's already successful incubator building across the street, in the former Linde Air building at 155 Chandler, which also went through an expedited cleanup.

As part of the $4.7 million project, the metal building and the first two floors of the main building will house the brewing equipment, storage coolers and packaging operation for Thin Man Brewery, while the upper two floors will have startup businesses. Workers will also reinstall windows in the building that mimic what were originally there when it was built. A parking lot will be included across the street.

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