Developer Rocco Termini is pushing forward with his planned conversion of a pair of old industrial buildings at 27 and 37 Chandler St. into yet another business incubator, as he seeks to have the properties accepted into the state Brownfield Cleanup Program.
Termini, through a pair of limited-liability companies, has submitted a "draft work plan" and "interim remedial measure" to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which "is likely to represent a significant part of the cleanup for the site," according to a DEC bulletin.
The environmental investigation will define the extent of contamination by installing and sampling soil borings, collecting surface soil samples, and installing and sampling groundwater wells. Potential cleanup measures would include excavating and carting off contaminated soil and then backfilling those areas with clean material, as well as removing any abandoned drums and containers and cleaning up any lead-based paint or asbestos.
The DEC will accept public comments on the draft plan through Feb. 21, before revising and approving a final plan.
The 1.13-acre site, bounded by Chandler and Grote streets, as well as residential structures and a manufacturing facility, includes a three-story building at 27 Chandler and a two-story building at 37 Chandler. The vacant buildings were used for various businesses from 1902 through 2017, including manufacturing mattresses, refining chemicals, heating and refrigeration services, and warehousing.
Termini plans to convert the warehouses into his third business incubator on the street, targeting food-related businesses through a small business hub that would be tied to SUNY Buffalo State and the Start-Up NY initiative.
The two buildings, which total 35,000 square feet in all, would provide permanent homes for food vendors who don't currently have their own space and often operate out of ad-hoc places such as church kitchens. Plans call for about 30 kitchens in the complex, with the businesses renting the space so they can produce their products at lower costs.