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DEC certifies five brownfield cleanups as completed

Developers have completed environmental cleanups at five local project sites under the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program, positioning the properties for reuse with state tax credits, according to announcements from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The projects include Chason Affinity Cos.' new four-story, 40-unit condominium project at 1111 Elmwood Ave.; Gerald Buchheit's Queen City Landing apartment tower at the Outer Harbor; and Rocco Termini's latest business incubator on Chandler Street.

At 1111 Elmwood, at the corner of Forest Avenue, Chason finished demolishing nine two-story multi-use structures, cut off underground utilities and removed contaminated soil as part of its $30 million project, according to the DEC. Plans call for a four-story building with 33 one- and two-story condos and seven walk-up townhouses, all for purchase. The project also includes three first-floor retail spaces and one floor of underground parking.

Chason Affinity revises Elmwood project

Buchheit, who is still waging a legal battle to overcome opposition to his waterfront project at 975 and 1005 Fuhrmann Blvd., excavated and replaced 3,098 cubic yards of soil contaminated with petroleum and another 420 cubic yards affected by metals, petroleum and hydrocarbons, the DEC said.

He also disposed of 4,705 tons of concrete contaminated with metals-based paint from demolishing the former Freezer Queen building, and got rid of another 1,200 tons of friable and non-friable material containing asbestos. And he removed three 5,000-gallon petroleum underground storage tanks, and installed a cover system of at least 2 feet of clean soil or crushed stone over the entire site, according to a DEC bulletin.

He has already received approval for his $85 million plan to erect a 23-story glass-walled apartment tower on the 20-acre site, with 198 units, two restaurants, a pool and other features. But he is awaiting final clearance from the courts before he can start construction.

At 166 Chandler, Termini went ahead with an "expedited cleanup" that included excavation and disposal of 2,170 cubic yards of soil, removal and disposal of a 300-gallon underground storage tank, and removal of 1,698 gallons of hydraulic oil, sludge and wash water from the building's elevator pit and shaft area. The $4.7 million plan for the four-story industrial building on a 0.48-acre site call for its reuse as a business incubator in conjunction with the state's StartUp NY program. In particular, it will house part of Thin Man Brewery's operation.

At 1585 Hertel Ave., John and Ruthanne Daly took down the vacant former gas station, excavated and removed 2,900 tons of impacted soil, took out nine underground storage tanks, and removed three hydraulic lifts and the former pump island piping, according to the DEC. The couple, through O'Dalaigh Real Estate LLC, plan to spend $7 million to construct a five-story mixed-use building, with first-floor retail and 34 apartments, as well as underground parking.

Developer plans changes to five-story project at Hertel and Parkside

Finally, American Tire Inc. completed a cleanup of 1550 Harlem Road in Cheektowaga – the only one of the five not in Buffalo. The cleanup included removal and disposal of 8,000-gallon and 5,000-gallon underground storage tanks; removal of 415 cubic yards of soil and 14,200 gallons of groundwater, both polluted by oil; and excavation and disposal of 63 cubic yards of soil affected by metals and hydrocarbons.

The 0.43-acre site was used as a gas station from at least 1950 to the 1970s and then as a nursery and garden center until 2014. American Tire plans to redevelop it as a tire distribution center, with potential for future "limited restricted residential use," according to the DEC.

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