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DEC OKs cleanups of 8 brownfields; still evaluating Elmwood Crossing site

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is evaluating if the cleanup of a former gas station and parking lot at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street is complete enough, after the developers behind the Elmwood Crossing conversion took down all the concrete and asphalt and carted away polluted soil.

The DEC and Department of Health are reviewing a draft remedial report about the cleanup at 441 Elmwood, submitted by two environmental consulting firms hired by Ellicott Development Co. and Sinatra & Company Real Estate. The state agencies are accepting public comment through Feb. 28 to Damianos T. Skaros at the DEC's Buffalo office at 270 Michigan Ave.

The site is part of the corner property where developers already have started construction of a five-story mixed-use building, as the first stage in the redevelopment of the former Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo campus.

According to the November 2019 report from Benchmark Environmental Engineering & Science and TurnKey Environmental Restoration, the developers conducted "expedited cleanups" on the 0.24-acre site, and recommend that no further action is necessary. Crews demolished and removed the parking lot, sidewalks, curbs and retaining wall; excavated and disposed of 16,033 tons of soil and fill contaminated with petroleum; pre-treated and discharged 300,000 gallons of affected groundwater; and backfilled the site with 4,800 tons of clean stone, according to the DEC.

Also last week, the DEC certified that developers completed the cleanup requirements at eight other local properties, including:

• The former Trico Products Corp. manufacturing plant at 791 Washington St., where Krog Corp. removed 171 tons of paint debris, six oil drums and 51 oil-filled electrical units.

The Grid project at 1155 Main St., where Cedarland Development Group plans a new apartment building at the former site of the Buffalo Tourist Lodge.

• 2424 Hamburg Turnpike, a 1.04-acre site in Lackawanna where crews dug up and disposed of 1,000 tons of contaminated soil that was replaced by clean fill.

• The Mod-Pac site at 1801 Elmwood, where Mod-Pac Corp. and Rosalia Capital LLC excavated 1,800 cubic yards of soil affected by metals, and replaced it with clean fill. Mod-Pac is donating the land to Nardin Academy for new outdoor athletic fields for the Catholic school's soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and softball teams.

• The Pierce-Arrow Administration Building at 1695, 1721 and 1723 Elmwood, where Dr. Gregory Daniel's Nidus Development is converting the facility into 105 loft apartments, a restaurant and indoor parking.

Rocco Termini's Chandler Incubator project at 27 and 37 Chandler St. in North Buffalo, where the developer is taking two more vacant industrial buildings and creating a commercial hub for startup food businesses.

• The Buffalo Forge property at 490 Broadway, where developer Stuart Alexander is leading the $50.7 million charge to convert a former manufacturing complex into a 158-unit apartment community called The Forge on Broadway.

• A longtime former car parts and repair shop at 837 Bailey Ave., where workers removed 785 tons of concrete, construction and demolition materials, nine truckloads of tires and 1,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with metals and other pollutants.

In all cases, a new soil cap or cover system was installed on the site, and the developers instituted regular monitoring and management.

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