250 Delaware Avenue
Formerly Known As: 233 South Elmwood Avenue and 234 Delaware Avenue
LOCATION: The 233 South Elmwood Avenue and 234 Delaware Avenue site is located at the addresses noted above in the City of Buffalo spanning along the north side of West Chippewa Street from Delaware Avenue to South Elmwood Avenue.
SITE FEATURES: The site is located in a highly developed urban area. The site is situated in a popular entertainment district. The site occupies approximately 1.96 acres in area on the north side of West Chippewa Street, and is bounded by South Elmwood Avenue to the west, Delaware Avenue to the east and commercial properties to the north. Local topography of the area is generally flat typical of Buffalo metro area.
The main site features included two commercial use structures and a vast area for surface parking. Approximately two thirds of the site was covered with asphalt pavement. A two story "L"- shaped building, referred to as the Delaware Court Building, faced Delaware Avenue to the east and West Chippewa to the south and occupied approximately one third of the site parcel. The Delaware Court Building was previously utilized as a mixed-use commercial building. A single-story building that was formerly utilized as a retail gasoline station with a convenience
store was located at the corner of South Elmwood Avenue and West Chippewa Street. The gas station was demolished summer 2013 prior to implementation of an interim remediation measure proposed for the site and the Delaware Court Building was demolished winter 2014 to make way for planned redevelopment of the site. Construction of a multi-story tower building for hotel, business office, retail use and a multi-story parking garage for the new building tenants.
CURRENT ZONING: The current and future use of the site is for commercial use in City of Buffalo Downtown Opportunity zone.
PAST USE OF THE SITE: The development history dates back to the late 1800s. The site and surrounding area was historically used for commercial and residential uses. The eastern portion of the site contained the Delaware Court building which was utilized as a mixed-use commercial building since its construction in 1925. The Delaware Court Building was demolished in 2014 and the gasoline retail station was demolished in 2013 to make way for a new high-rise multi-use building and parking ramp. Prior to the construction of the Delaware Court building, the area was occupied by a stately residential structure. An area behind the Delaware court building currently used for surface parking was previously used for gasoline retail.
Westward from the Delaware Court building, three residential structures occupied lots fronting Chippewa Street. These structures were demolished decades ago sometime after the construction of the Delaware Court Building. Two of the lots used for residential areas were used for surface parking. The remaining former residential lot at the corner of West Chippewa and South Elmwood was recently used as a retail gasoline filling station with a one story convenience store. Just north of the existing gasoline station, records show that the current parking lot area contained a gasoline filling station. A tire service operation was present on-site from approximately 1931 and 1936, and a service station was identified on the project site from 1982 and 1987 suggesting historic on-site automotive repair operations. Municipal records indicate the installation and removal of several underground storage tanks on this side of the project site.
North of the former gasoline station, a former commercial building occupied the area fronting South Elmwood. This building was demolished in the mid-2000s. This structure was utilized by a number of businesses over numerous decades. Prior to demolition, a locksmith occupied the building. Records for this building indicate several uses including a paint shop and a pipe/hardware shop.
The former residential lots and commercial use lots were combined into a single parcel with the Delaware Court Building lot.
Overburden: The site is located within the Erie-Ontario lake plain physiographic province, which is typified by little topographic relief and gentle slope toward Lake Erie, except in the immediate vicinity of major drainage ways. The surficial geology of the Lake Erie plain generally consists of a thin glacial till layer, glaciolacustrine (lake-laid laminated silts and clays) deposits, alluvium, and soils derived by these deposits.
Based upon site borings and borings from a nearby site, the site geology consists of a thin layer of fill or pavement, followed by a silty clayey layer ranging from 1 to 4 feet in thickness and then a thick fine sandy layer. This sandy layer is likely a part of a lake-laid sandy ridge deposit about
40 to 45 feet thick with several interbedded silty clay lenses. The depth of the sandy layer is unconfirmed at this time.
Bedrock: The site is situated over the Onondaga formation limestone. Based upon information from a nearby BCP project, limestone bedrock is likely about 52 feet below the surface (unconfirmed).
Hydrogeology: Unconfined groundwater was encountered within the native soils at depths of approximately 10 to 12 feet below ground surface. Site groundwater flow gradient appears to flow in a south/southwest direction. Regional groundwater likely flows west/southwest toward Lake Erie and confluence of the Buffalo River.
Brownfield Cleanup Program
New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program (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.
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions
Eugene Melnyk, PE
Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
Site-Related Health Questions
New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Rm. 1787
Albany, NY 12237
For More Information
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Where to Find Information
Project documents are available at the following locations to help the public stay informed.
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203
NYS DEC Region 9 Office
Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
By Appointment Only