Spring construction boom hits Town of Niagara; Five Guys among tenants of project

by Susan Mikula Campbell

With the weather finally becoming more springlike, residents and visitors in the Town of Niagara as usual will start seeing more and more construction vehicles at work. But this year, more commercial construction than ever is expected, especially along Military Road.

Town of Niagara building inspector Chuck Haseley has been hard at work with building permits and plans to be presented to the town's Planning Board. It's not unusual for the town to have 600 to 800 building permits per year, but there has been nothing of this commercial magnitude within the last five years, he said.

The largest project, of course is the addition to Fashion Outlets of Niagara by new mall owners Macerich Partnership LP. The $71 million project will include a new addition and entrance off Fashion Outlet Boulevard, providing about 50 new stores.

Haseley doesn't expect to see a project this large again in his career. In a given year, any of the other large commercial projects being considered or already underway would have been considered major, he said.

"There's not too many communities that build something like this, especially a smaller town like ours," he said.

Some work already is underway on foundations and utilities at the mall under state brownfield permits, and Haseley expects to issue more permits this week.

Other large projects include Benderson Development's Military Place at the site of the former John's Flaming Hearth restaurant and the old Perkins restaurant building.

Tenants for the Perkins building include a Five Guys burgers and fries restaurant and a TCBY frozen yogurt restaurant, according to Town Supervisor Steve Richards.

Haseley is currently reviewing permits for tenant build-outs for the two restaurants and for building façade modifications.

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Town of Wheatfield: Quasar, noise dominate meeting

by Susan Mikula Campbell

Wheatfield residents were not pleased, and they let the Town Board know it in a lengthy meeting Monday.

The majority of the crowd was there to continue a quest from previous meetings to find a way to block Quasar from distributing its equate product as fertilizer for farmers' fields.

A smaller group complained about noise from a junkyard that was making them prisoners in their own homes.

In the Quasar matter, the board approved a public hearing for 7 p.m. April 28 on a proposed law to establish a six-month moratorium on the disposal and storage of sludge, sewage sludge, septic waste and derivative products within Wheatfield, pending revision of the town's solid waste and recycling law.

Supervisor Bob Cliffe told residents that he has done extensive reading and research from the very beginning when the Ohio-based Quasar asked to build its anaerobic digestion facility on Liberty Drive to create methane gas from waste that would otherwise go to landfills. Equate is what is leftover after digestion. Quasar is currently seeking to build a 5 million gallon equate storage tank on its Liberty Drive property.

"I don't work for Quasar, I work for you," Cliffe told residents at the meeting.

He said the moratorium would give the town and its residents time to get all questions answered. He suggested an independent third party is needed to provide answers to the many questions about equate and its storage and application as farm fertilizer.

Quasar has already returned its answers to questions presented by the board and residents at previous meetings to Planning Board Chairman Richard Muscatello, Cliffe said.

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