Rocco Termini is moving forward with plans for a swim club on Chandler Street but two buildings are standing in the way. The Buffalo Preservation Board will review demolition plans for the structures located at 140 Chandler Street at its meeting on Thursday.
From the cover letter to the Preservation Board:
The two buildings that are proposed to be demolished are physically connected but were built at different times. Building #1 is one story and measures 1,348gsf in area and is roughly 20’-0” tall. It is constructed with CMU block and was constructed sometime in the 1960s or 1970s based on historic aerials and building methods/materials. Building #2 is one story and measures 1,683gsf in area and is roughly 26’-0” tall at the point of the gabled roof. It is constructed of steel with ‘transite’ exterior panels. These panels contain asbestos which has contaminated the entire building due to deterioration and lack of upkeep. These structures were originally used as the mixing rooms for a wide array of oils and chemicals and those contaminates have been absorbed into the concrete floors. Both these buildings were originally part of Niagara Lubricant’s facility which also contained a building to the east that burned down in 2011. A third 2,730gsf single story building will remain on the western portion of the site and will be repurposed as part of the development project.
There are two reasons Buildings #1 & #2 will need to be removed. The first being that the cost of abating the structures of asbestos and other contaminates far exceeds the value of the buildings and the cost would never be recouped. The second is that the continued success of adjacent businesses has made the property very important to the continued resurgence of Chandler Street. Adjacent businesses have tentative plans to expand their operations and the area, location, and height of these two structures will hinder that growth. The Pool Club needs to be located on the western half of the site so that the eastern half of the site can be uninhibited for the needed future development.
The proposed swim club consists of an urban pool club, changing rooms, restrooms, laundry facilities, a food service establishment, and bar. The pool and surrounding patio will reside behind the remaining building on the western side of the site and the eastern side adjacent to 166 Chandler Street where Thin Man Brewery and other tenants occupy a repurposed building will be developed in the future.