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City Residents Watch An Era Come To An End
Contact: Lorey Schultz
Demolition crew tears down the last piece of Central Park Plaza
BUFFALO– It’s the latest visible sign that change is coming to Buffalo’s Central Park Plaza neighborhood. Today, Mayor Byron Brown, joined by John Ciminelli, Senior Vice President of LPCiminelli, marked an important milestone by giving the go-ahead to a demolition crew to knock down the last remaining piece of the Central Park Plaza.
“The clearing of this long neglected site is significant because it makes room for the continued environmental cleanup and redevelopment of this once thriving piece of property,” said Mayor Brown. “I want to thank Strickler Development for working quickly to demolish what had become a troublesome eyesore for the entire neighborhood. I also look forward to working with the developer and residents on a development plan that makes the best economic sense for the surrounding neighborhood and the city overall.”
Last Spring, Strickler Development, an LLC solely owned by Louis Ciminelli, Chairman & CEO of LPCiminelli, bought the Central Park Plaza property for $800,000 and began the immediate clearing of the 27 acre site as promised. Five buildings, approximately 275,000 square feet, were demolished at cost of $1.2 million.
“With the demolition of this last building, the first phase of making Central Park Plaza ready for future development is now nearly completed,” said John Ciminelli, Senior Vice President of LPCiminelli, the region’s largest construction company. “Now, we begin the environmental remediation and brownfield clean up. It is exciting to know that a public eyesore and nuisance is now gone and we are moving closer to making the Central Park Plaza site a vibrant part of the City of Buffalo’s future.”
The property had become an eyesore, while under the ownership of Brooklyn investor Samuel Kurz, the absentee former owner who was ordered to sell the site, under a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, following a state probe of Kurz’ failure to maintain it despite repeated citations. In less than six months, Strickler Development cleared the site, enabling the environmental cleanup to begin.
LPCiminelli was founded in 1961 in Buffalo’s Central Park Plaza neighborhood, and moved its corporate headquarters back into the community in 2009. After the environmental remediation and brownfield clean up, the developer will continue to work with residents to determine the best use of the site. Removing blight and cleaning up the Central Park Plaza neighborhood continues to be a top priority of Mayor Brown. Since 2006, the city demolished 135 abandoned properties in the area at a cost of $2.4 million.
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios