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Let the Clean Up Begin

Everyone wants to see progress.  And while “addition” seems to be the most recognizable way to advance, you can’t forget the very popular “addition by subtraction” formula. 

That’s exactly what’s happening on Lee Street in South Buffalo.

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(More of the Buffalo Color site that will be revitalized.)

Buffalo Color, the old factory that previously employed thousands of people and produced indigo dye for blue jeans, hasn’t been used for years, and will be removed to make way for new industry.  The buildings on the site are decrepit old shells, a skeleton of what once was.  South Buffalo Development LLC has stepped in with the help of New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation to remove the buildings there, clean the place up, and build a new site for light industrial and commercial use as part of their Brownfield Cleanup Program.  Brownfields are former industrial properties that are unused, in bad need of environmental cleanup, and are safe for redevelopment.  The Buffalo Color site falls into this category.

The site is comprised of five parcels: A,B,C,D and E.  Site D was primarily a 19-acre dumping ground that was cleaned up several years ago.  The four remaining parcels, A,B,C, and E, are mostly the vacant structures which will be demolished and cleaned of chemicals, representing approximately 40 percent of the entire project. 

Assisting in the cleanup is Honeywell, formerly known as Allied Chemical, the company that sold the Buffalo Color site to BC in 1977.  In order to redevelop the site properly, the buildings that sit there now will be removed, hazardous residual chemicals and waste still remaining in the equipment will be removed and taken to an approved site and contaminated groundwater and soil will be cleaned.

Here is the area that will be revitalized: 
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As you can see, there will be a great addition of green space.  I was there today, and there isn’t a whole lot of it at the moment, so it will be nice to see some nature.

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I caught up with Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Abby Snyder after the press conference, curious about further development in the area – namely, the Buffalo River.  “This area is the lynchpin of development,” Snyder said.  “The Buffalo River was a major transporter for the industry here.  In order to clean it, we’ll need to dredge the river and remove the contaminants, which are mostly metals and volatile chemicals left over.”  Those remnants are from usage and dumping that took place decades ago.

After all is said and done, this site will be home to business, which obviously translates to jobs!  To quote Buffalo Rising reader “Andrew” from another similar post: “Great story.  I’ll take one hundred more please.”

And of course, a video of a giant machine destroying a building, because that rules.

Bulldozer takes down Building at Buffalo Color Site from Dan Fisher on Vimeo.

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