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Common Council to review potential new park on Niagara Street

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Contaminated soils and water at the old industrial site were cleaned up by New York State.

A rapidly redeveloping area on Niagara Street in Buffalo may be getting a park, as a piece of property winds through the city's regulatory process.

The property is an old industrial site at 1318 Niagara Street, near Auburn Avenue. For many years it was a brewery and later on it was a trucking operation, although the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wasn't able to fully determine what was trucked before an expensive brownfield cleanup took place.

The property winds down from Niagara Street to what has been called Toll Plaza Park in some planning documents. That is near the old Thruway Niagara Section toll plaza. It is bounded by the CSX rail line, which carries Amtrak passenger trains, and is part of what City Hall calls the Upper Rock corridor, as Niagara heads toward Black Rock.

The Common Council is being asked Tuesday to start the zoning process to change the designation of the three-quarters of an acre of property to one useable for parkland. That designation is being proposed because the land is part of what is listed as the 20% of the city more than a 10-minute walk away from existing or proposed public parkland.

If the Council approves the proposed zoning change, the plan would go to the city Planning Board and to the Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning for further action.

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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