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Possible brownfield development at former Central Park Plaza

Former Central Park Plaza
Google street view photo
Former Central Park Plaza

Construction work is inching nearer for a replacement for the faded Central Park Plaza in North Buffalo, with the draft of a plan for environmental testing of a possible brownfield development.

The site off East Amherst Street is one of the largest prospective brownfield sites the local Environmental Conservation Department region has dealt with.

The 27-acre site was part of a vast nearby stone quarry for 71 years before being converted into the plaza in 1958.

While it started well, the plaza deteriorated over the years and has been completely vacant for nearly a year.

One of the Ciminelli companies, Strickler Development Group, wants to re-use it for commercial and possibly residential purposes.

DEC Regional Remediation Engineer Martin Doster said there has to be an environmental site study.

"Right now the work plan is out for public comment, and that comment period ends at the end of May.  I would assume the approvals will come in June,  and I would think they will be in the field this summer with a report by the end of the year," said Doster.

Doster said there has been some testing which hasn't found any problems. 

"They will be putting together a plan to do a combination of borings, which are test holes, as well as what we call test pits," said Doster. 


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.