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DEC accepting public comment on results of contamination cleanup

Rocco Termini

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is clearing the way for another old and dirty building being turned into modern commercial space in a North Buffalo area so filled with projects of one developer it could be called Termini Town.

Developer Rocco Termini has done a series of adaptive reuse projects around the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and the railroad Belt Line - and he has more in the works, especially along Chandler Street. Once a busy industrial street, Chandler is now more fields of grass and weeds, really only visible from the rail line.

The DEC said it is now cleaned up, but is giving the public a chance to comment on what has been done by removing 2,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 1,000 tons of dirty brick and concrete. Termini said it was once a Linde Air plant.

"It had very high concentrations of PCBs and lead and it's been in the neighborhood for the last 40 years," said Termini. "It was so high that the material had to be shipped to Alabama. There was no place in Buffalo or in Western New York that would take soil with those levels of contamination."

Termini said he hopes to have the project completed by March and already has three start-up companies planning to move in. To meet millennial office expectations, the $18 million project will include a bocce court and an in-ground pool.

"There's going to be a business incubator there," he said. "We already have three companies that are moving in, that are startup companies. It's part of Start-Up New York. It's being done in cooperation with Buff State College."

Termini said his Signature Development has purchased five more vacant lots along Chandler for future projects, potentially serviced by hotel and brewery tenants in other rehabbed buildings.

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.
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