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Congressman Higgins, Mayor Brown And South Buffalo Development Announce Major Public/Private Initiative To Redevelop Former Industrial Site Along Buffalo River

Jun 8, 2009
Press Release

Congressman Brian M. Higgins, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and South Buffalo Development, LLC (SBD) today announced a public/private initiative to clean up and redevelop the former Buffalo Color site on the Buffalo River.  They were joined by Dale Desnoyers and Abby Snyder from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); local and state representatives; Honeywell; and business, community and environmental organizations.

“Through a unique collaboration among Honeywell, South Buffalo community partners and various levels of government we will see this site transform from old, industrial and underused to a space that provides new public access to the water’s edge and generates jobs, business opportunities, and economic growth,” said Congressman Higgins.

“I commend South Buffalo Development, Honeywell and the DEC for their role in transforming the former Buffalo Color site into what will be an exciting new development site in Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown. “Since taking office in 2006, my administration has added 285 acres of former brownfields to the city’s development portfolio. As a result, Buffalo has close to 500 acres of remediated brownfields that are shovel ready for new development. I look forward to partnering with South Buffalo Development as they bring these 55 acres of former industrial property back into productive reuse, both for commercial/light industrial development and public green space.”

“New York State is committed to seeing brownfields cleaned-up and reestablished as economic and environmental assets to their communities," said Regional Director Abby Snyder.  "Revitalization of this site will benefit the environment and public health, and reflects the positive impact that effective and collaborative partnerships can foster."

SBD, which recently purchased the property, will demolish existing structures, clean up soil and groundwater under DEC supervision, and develop the site for commercial/light industrial use.  During today’s event, SBD began the demolition of the first building.  Ongoing demolition activities will take approximately 12 months to complete. 

 Extensive precautions will be taken to protect the health and safety of the community during all activities.  SBD, a participant in DEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, is an affiliate of Ontario Specialty Contracting (OSC).  OSC has considerable experience with similar projects, particularly in Western New York. 

“SBD is excited to be working in partnership with local leaders and the South Buffalo community to redevelop this site, which has the potential for new jobs and tax revenues and will allow for the creation of significant riverfront green space,” said Jon Williams, SBD President.  “We are confident that reuse of this site will benefit not only the local communities but the region at large.”

“This redevelopment is a powerful example of how former industrial sites can be returned to productive use with the cooperation of government, environmental agencies, local developers, the community and corporate partners,” said Jay Kelly, Honeywell Buffalo Research Laboratory Site Leader. 

Honeywell voluntarily removed more than 1.5 million pounds of chemicals abandoned by Buffalo Color and completed the remediation of 19 acres of land adjacent to the Buffalo River, all under DEC oversight.   Allied Chemical formerly owned the Buffalo Color site and sold it in 1977 to Buffalo Color.  Honeywell is Allied’s successor.

Also attending the announcement were: David Franczyk, Buffalo Common Council President; Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy; Dale Desnoyers, DEC Director of Environmental Remediation; Marty Doster, DEC Region 9; Peg Overdorf, Executive Director of the Valley Community Association; Art Robinson, President of the Seneca-Babcock Community Block Club; Laura Kelly, Director of the Old First Ward Community Association; Ann Enger, Executive Director of the South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce; and representatives from the offices of New York State Governor David Paterson, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York State Senator William Stachowski, New York State Assemblyman Mark Schroeder, New York State Senator Antoine Thompson, New York State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.