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HARBORcenter - Webster Block

Site Number C915270

November 2014 Fact Sheet

HARBORcenter Update: Cleanup Action Completed at Brownfield Site

Artist rendering of HARBORcenter
Artist rendering of HARBORcenter

Action has been completed to address the contamination related to the Webster Block site ("site") located at 75 Main Street, Buffalo, Erie County under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program. Please see the map for the site location.

The cleanup activities were performed by HARBORcenter Development, LLC ("applicant") with oversight provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The applicant(s) have submitted a draft Final Engineering Report for DEC review which states that cleanup requirements have been or will be achieved to fully protect public health and the environment for the proposed site use.

Digital Files of the Work Plan

Draft RI/IRM/AA Report (46 page PDF, 247 KB)

Site Timeline

1820s-1980
Site developed and used for warehousing and manufacturing
1980 - present
Used as a parking lot

By the Numbers

Brownfield Numbers
2 acres - size of site
121 truckloads - concrete removed
52,839 tons - soil removed

Highlights of the Site Cleanup

To remove all disturbed soil and fill unsuitable for redevelopment construction and to remediate the site, an Interim Remedial Measure ("IRM") was implemented. All soil/fill on site above the native material, was excavated and disposed of at a landfill. The depth of the excavation was approximately 10 to 11 feet.

A total of 52,839 tons or approximately 35,000 cubic yards of soil and fill were removed from the site. In addition, 121 truckloads of concrete and asphalt (approximately 1,815 tons) were sent off-site for recycling during the excavation.

Next Steps

When DEC approves the Final Engineering Report, it will be made available to the public (see "Where to Find Information" below). DEC then will issue a Certificate of Completion which will be announced in a fact sheet that is sent to the site contact list.

The applicant would be able to redevelop the site after receiving a Certificate of Completion. In addition, the applicant(s):

  • Would have no liability to the State for contamination at or coming from the site, subject to certain conditions; and
  • Would be eligible for tax credits to offset the costs of performing cleanup activities and for redevelopment of the site.

A Certificate of Completion may be modified or revoked if, for example, an applicant does not comply with the terms of its Brownfield Cleanup Agreement with DEC.

Background

Location:
This proposed BCP site is located at 75 Main Street in the City of Buffalo, Erie County, is approximately 2.08 acres in size and is also known as the "Webster Block". The property is bounded on the west by Main Street; on the east by Washington Street; on the north by Scott Street and on the south by Perry Street.

Site Features:
The main feature of this site is the asphalt surface parking lot that is adjacent to First Niagara Center and HSBC Center office building and NFTA Metro Rail line.

Current Zoning/Use:
The site is currently used for commercial purposes and has been utilized as a parking lot since the 1980's.

The intended use of this site is for the construction of a multi-story, multi-use facility that will include multiple floors of above ground parking, two ice rinks, retail space, a restaurant and a hotel. The development will comprise the entire 2.08 acres of the site.

Historical Use:
Given its proximity to the Erie Canal and Buffalo Harbor, the site was within an area of dense commercial and industrial development. The site was occupied with multiple commercial, manufacturing and industrial uses over its history. These uses included oil storage, oil refining, machine shop and brass foundry, and various supply companies.

Site Geology and Hydrogeology:
Site investigations have revealed overburden soils consist of primarily fill material at the ground surface which varies in thickness from 8 to 10 feet with some areas deeper than 15 feet. Soil beneath consists of alternating layers of silty clay, fine to sandy silt and gravel and a layer of peat. Bedrock is approximately 50 feet below grade.

Fill material is heterogeneous and consists of a mixture of sand, silt, clay, ash/cinders, organic matter and demolition debris. Layers of ash/cinders have been observed to be 3 to 4 feet thick with scattered deposits of coal, slag, coal tar and petroleum-impacted soil.

Surface elevations along the inner-harbor are approximately 580 feet. It is near the Buffalo River at its discharge point to Lake Erie and this area is in a low-lying lake plain adjacent to Lake Erie.

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.

Brownfield Cleanup Program

New York's BCP encourages the voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties known as "brownfields" so that they can be reused and redeveloped. These uses may include recreation, housing, business or other uses. A brownfield is any real property that is difficult to reuse or redevelop because of the presence or potential presence of contamination. For more information about the BCP, visit DEC's website.

Where to Find Information

Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed.

Buffalo & Erie Public Library
ATTN: Reference Librarian
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo NY 14203
716-858-8900

NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo NY 14203
716-851-7220

Who to Contact

Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:

Project Related Questions:
David Locey
NYS DEC, DER
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
716-851-7220
david.locey@dec.ny.gov

Site-Related Health Questions:
Matthew Forcucci
NYS DOH
584 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295
716-847-4501
BEEI@health.ny.gov

Redevelopment Related Questions:
Clifford Benson
HARBORcenter Development, LLC
1 Seymour Knox III Plaza
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-855-4139
cbenson@sabres.com

For More Information

We encourage you to share this fact sheet with neighbors and tenants, and/or post this fact sheet in a prominent area of your building for others to see.

*Receive Site Fact Sheets by Email

Have site information such as this fact sheet sent right to your email inbox. DEC invites you to sign up with one or more contaminated sites county email listservs available. It's quick, it's free, and it will help keep you better informed.

As a listserv member, you will periodically receive site-related information/announcements for all contaminated sites in the county(ies) you select. You may continue also to receive paper copies of site information for a time after you sign up with a county listserv, until the transition to electronic distribution is complete.

Site Location

Aerial view of HARBORcenter site
Aerial view of HARBORcenter site