Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Rich Products seeks demolition of three West Side doubles

Rich Products seeks demolition of three West Side doubles

Support this work for $1 a month
878-882 West

These houses at 878 and 882 West Street are slated for demolition.

Rich Products Corp. wants to tear down three West Side doubles that it owns on West and Gelston streets that have deteriorated beyond repair and it considers to be safety hazards.

The Buffalo-based nondairy products company headquartered on Niagara Street has been investing in its neighborhood for years, buying properties for its future growth needs as well as to gain some control over the fate of the area around it.

It previously acquired doubles at 878 and 882 West, as well as a long property with multiple structures at 1215 Niagara St., which extends to Gelston on the other side.

Now it wants to tear all three down, if the Buffalo Preservation Board agrees.

"All three properties ... had varying degrees of inhabitability and were deemed structurally unsafe," said spokesman Kevin Aman.

Aman said company officials "spent some good time over the last year, assessing those properties, always with an eye on how to retain housing when possible."

That's what it did with the front structure at 1215 Niagara, which is now rented to Stitch Buffalo.

But the house and garage on the eastern end of the Niagara parcel, at Gelston, has been vacant since 2013, and suffers from a range of safety and security problems, according to a letter to the Preservation Board from Rich Corporate Facilities Manager Scott Petersen.

The house is settling significantly on the north side, causing the foundation to crumble. There's also flexing and cracking in sanitary sewer pipes, plaster pulling away from the wall and ceiling, and damage to the front entry and porch. The floor is pitched by up to 6 inches in several areas, Petersen noted. The electrical system also is not compliant with code.

Great Point Media Niagara Studio

A rendering shows where the complex will be located on Niagara Street, across from Rich Products.

The two other houses on West, dating to 1890 and 1845, respectively, are adjacent to the much larger property at 1155 Niagara, which is slated to become a film production studio for Great Point Media. Aman said they will be incorporated into that project. The company has no plans for the Gelston space.

Also, Frank Chinnici's Legacy Development wants to demolish the rear addition to the building at 328 N. Oak St., where the roof already partially collapsed, as windstorms tore off the roof membrane.

That's left some of the flooring exposed to the weather, resulting in "major water damage," according to a letter to the Preservation Board from Legacy Designer Chelsea Galley.

The building is part of a cluster of five properties at Oak and Genesee streets in downtown Buffalo that Legacy acquired last year from Bruce Adler of Rockland County, who had been criticized for years as a negligent landlord.

One of his other properties, a three-story Italianate structure at 435 Ellicott St., had previously suffered a chimney collapse and roof damage that led the city to order an emergency demolition.

Legacy bought the portfolio with hopes of preserving the other buildings and creating a "gateway" to downtown for drivers coming off the Kensington Expressway.

But before it could proceed, another building at 324 N. Oak collapsed last spring. And now a demolition inspector recommended that the rear addition at 328 N. Oak come down "due to the severity of the existing water damage," Galley wrote.

building collapse

A building at 324 North Oak St at Genesee Street in downtown Buffalo collapsed at about 10:45 a.m., Friday, July 2, 2021. There was no one in the building which is under renovation.

Legacy plans to renovate and revive the remaining structures, while erecting a much taller mixed-use building behind them of as much as 12 stories in height.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

  • Updated

Frank Chinnici’s Legacy Development has completed its $2.7 million purchase of six properties in downtown Buffalo from a downstate landlord, who had allowed one of his buildings to deteriorate to the point that it had to be torn down in an emergency demolition last fall. Legacy on Wednesday closed on the purchase of the “Adler Portfolio,” which it termed

  • Updated

A pair of new loft apartment projects in downtown Buffalo are being recommended for low-interest loans totaling $1.5 million as part of the Buffalo Building Reuse Project to restore underused buildings to active purposes. Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.’s The Sinclair at 465 Washington St. and Signature Development Buffalo LLC’s 400 Oak Lofts at 400 Oak St. would each receive

  • Updated

The owner of a downtown bakery uprooted by an emergency demolition is suing the building’s owner in State Supreme Court. Two Wheels Bakery & Cafe seeks damages from Buffalo Properties Ltd. “for the full amount of the damages” the bakery suffered at 435 Ellicott St. The city ordered the demolition after the roof collapsed inside the 1860s-era, three-story Italianate

  • Updated

The owner of a downtown Civil War-era building that required an emergency demolition did not appear Tuesday at a Buffalo Common Council committee meeting, drawing the ire of Ellicott Council Member Darius G. Pridgen. Bruce Adler of Buffalo Properties was expected to appear before the Community Development Committee to report on the status of all the properties he owns

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News