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Redevelopment of Schoellkopf Icehouse and Powerhouse Proposed

Ontario Specialty Contracting’s South Buffalo Development LLC is seeking to move to the former Buffalo Color site at Elk and Lee streets. The $7 million project involves the renovation of the former Schoellkopf Icehouse and Powerhouse building. Ontario Specialty Contracting is moving from Ganson Street and its former space will be taken over by RiverWorks.

From the project application to the Buffalo Planning Board:

The redevelopment project involves historically restoring and renovating the vacant icehouse building into a mixed use development containing professional offices, two apartments, a flex space for assembly, and other commercial/restaurant uses. The renovation project will be designed within the guidelines of the National Parks Historic Tax Credit program. The project is not listed yet, but we are pursuing a Part 1 and subsequently Part 2 & 3 application for register and renovation under the new name Schoellkopf Icehouse and Powerhouse.

There are currently two buildings on the old Schoellkopf site, one is the original Icehouse, two stories and shorter in stature, and the Powerhouse, which is a single story building with high bays and much taller than the Icehouse. The Powerhouse is situated behind the Icehouse when viewing the property from Lee Street. The original buildings will remain intact, with the Icehouse as our primary focus for the current renovation and construction project.

There will be an enclosure added to the east and south sides of the building interior to create new lobby entrances. The remainder of exterior work to the building will be restoration of deteriorated brick and/or mortar, restoration of existing or installation of new window sills to match existing, new and restored windows, and new doors following the Secretary of Interiors Standards. There will also be new roofing installed entirely over the existing flat roof area. 66 parking spaces will be provided for use by the occupants of the renovated building across the street at address 83 Lee Street, an adjacent property also owned by the developer.

Carmina Wood Morris, D.P.C. is providing civil engineering, architectural design and interior design services. Structural engineering services will be provided by Studio T3 Engineering. Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and fire protection services are being provided through JTVaeth Construction via the design-build method.

The Planning Board will consider the project on Monday, Room 901 City Hall at 4 PM.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • Wow, if that’s the building I’m thinking of, I can’t imagine how a transformed Lee St would look. It’s like Ohio St on steroids.

    Good luck to this project, but the rest of that area is in rough condition.

    Edit: I thought it was residential. Still, it’s a very isolated area.

    • OldFirstWard

      “It’s like Ohio St on steroids.”

      It’s more like Love Canal on steroids. Just stand on the lift bridge facing north and marvel at the sewage discharge pipes constantly dumping “cleansed” waste water into the river. It never stops flowing.

      • MrGreenJeans

        This may be the most poisoned spot in Erie County – for many decades, the Schoellkopfs dumped their glop into the water, onto the ground, and into the air. The Schoellkopf Tanning Factory turned “Canalside” into a stinking dump, choking on the fumes of incredibly disgusting garbage used to tan leather (Imagine: open tanks full of urine & dog feces – THAT is how they made leather) They would have shut off Niagara Falls, if our government hadn’t stopped them from sucking all the water into their electric plant.

        Too often, people look back and see only thriving businesses, without understanding that the leftover pollution of industry was simply poured out EVERYWHERE, to the detriment of posterity (posterity = US. ) …..

        Allowing people to live there would be a tragedy. What the site needs is to have the Buffalo River completely cut off & rerouted, while the entire site is scraped down to bedrock and rebuilt with clean fill. There are chemicals at this place which don’t even have names.

        Native trees and shrubs, or basically whatever can grow & perhaps mollify the leftover poisons of our otherwise considerate ancestors, is what belong on this site – not apartments full of people. Tall fences, wild trees, and perhaps 100 years will help.

        • armyof100clowns

          Sometimes I think people are completely ignorant of just how awful some of the crap is that made “America great” during its economic rise on the tide of industrialization. Plots of land that would be great for development (like the Bethlehem Steel plant) more than likely will never see it (at least not in my lifetime) because the amount of contamination is unreal, running the gamut from heavy metals to PCB. Really nasty stuff.

          I cannot lay blame completely at the feet of our collective ancestors and former stewards of the environment – I don’t think even they understood just how bad and persistent this garbage is. Capping can only go so far. A radical scrape and replace is the only hope for some sites as is demolition for contaminated structures.

        • mikmo323

          I may be ignorant when it comes to the topic but isn’t this what “Brownfield Cleanups” are for? Or is this beyond the scope of that? I’m just curious because it seems like there is an awful lot of land here which seperates South Buffalo from Downtown.

          • armyof100clowns

            Remediation of brownfields varies based on the type of industry and level of contamination (among other things). In some cases land that has been “cleaned” is still declared unfit for development due to the type of polluting agent or the scope of the cleanup. Sometimes leaving former industrial sites fallow and allowing it to return to a natural state for a certain amount of time is the only safe paths forward . . . you know, “time heals all wounds”.

            I only have a cursory knowledge of this stuff from conversations with a friend of mine that works on brownfield remediation and reclamation, so this particular site is a mystery to me; however, if it is as badly contaminated as MrGreenJeans stated, the complete scrape and replace approach may be the only safe (if economically feasible) approach.

        • UrbanLove

          Not to mention what Allied Chemical left on the site!!

  • Vandra

    It’s the taller powerhouse that has real potential if you open up those tall arched windows.

  • breckenridge

    I wondered how long OSC would remain in the same building as Riverworks – seemed like an odd mix to be co-occupants of the same building.

    • InformedOne

      OSC owns the property….Riverworks is leasing the property.

  • MWood

    I had a project on South Park last year and I thought about tis every time I drove down Lee St. Glad to see it happening

  • Louis Tully

    Update on this? Saw backhoes there this morning and part of the building gone. Selective demo?