Demolition work has started up again at the former M.Wile (affordable men’s clothing) warehouse building at 2020 Elmwood Avenue, next to Home Depot. Reader J. Healey pointed out that the building, and the site, should be remembered as being of significant historic importance as the Curtiss Wright factory. “This building was used for single engine fighter plane production during world war II and was largely run by women due to the war. Every Sunday they would shut down Hertel Avenue and use it for a runway to take the airplanes that were produced and fly them up to the Niagara Falls air Force Base.”
The building, once considered the largest such facility in the world, is being demolished by the owner, Benchmark Management’s 2020 Elmwood Associates LLC. The plant was the manufacturer of the JN-4 ‘Jenny’ biplane used for the war.
Reasons for the demolition included security/liability concerns, and “the unsafe condition of the building and especially the roof structure.” The building is being razed for a shovel-ready site.
The circa-1919 building contains 278,000 sq.ft. of space and sits on 10.29 acres of land. It is immediately north of 20 acres of land at Elmwood and Hertel that Uniland Development Company and Blue Cardinal Capital are proposing to redevelop for a mix of uses. Two warehouses on those properties have already been demolished.
The site is adjacent to Home Depot, across the street from Benderson Development’s Elmwood and Hertel Center and Regal Cinemas, and near Ellicott Development’s new store for Hyatt’s All Things Creative at the former Frontier Lumber site at 1941 Elmwood.