Uniland Development Company has revised its development plans for a 20-acre parcel in Lakeside Commerce Park and is now planning a large-scale solar project. Uniland originally planned to construct a shipping and distribution center on the Brownfield site but through its due diligence, determined the subsurface conditions are not suitable for that type of construction. The “inland port” was to be tied to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s operations in the New York City area, bringing containers to the site via rail and transferring them onto trucks for delivery.
The Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC) real estate committee recommended approval of the shift in plans for the 255 Ship Canal Parkway property on Tuesday. The full BUDC Board will vote December 22.
“It is ironic that this former industrial site was designated a Superfund site and now an environmental Brownfield will soon be producing renewable energy for the City of Buffalo,” said Uniland CEO Michael Montante. “Environmentally sustainable development is a priority at Uniland, and we are pleased that this development aligns with Mayor Brown’s continuing efforts to bolster the City of Buffalo’s status as a New York State-certified Climate Smart Community.
The concept also accomplishes the shared goals of the City, BUDC and Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park to convert underutilized and environmentally sensitive sites to productive development Uniland expects the project will produce five megawatts of power, which is capable of supplying electricity to approximately 800 households.
“This is an exciting project for the City of Buffalo, its first large-scale solar project,” Montante said. “The City of Buffalo and Mayor Brown had the foresight to create the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park to attract private investment and we believe a solar park is a great addition to it and works well with our neighbors.”
Uniland is meeting with solar contractors and operators and expects to reach an agreement with one soon to collaborate on the project.
Meanwhile to the north of Uniland’s site, Sonwil Distribution is moving forward with a second large distribution center. The 322,000 sq.ft. multi-tenant warehouse would be located adjacent to an existing 308,000 sq.ft. building that Sonwil opened in 2009. Sonwil is expecting to submit plans for the project this month and expects completion next fall.