City of Buffalo Mayor Bryon Brown on Tuesday announced demolition of the sprawling former King Sewing Machine Co. site, located at 308 Crowley Ave., is underway.
“Today marks a major step forward in returning this blighted and dangerous site to positive, productive use, which will enhance the city’s Riverside neighborhood,” he said. “Under an agreement between the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. (BUDC) and the New York State Office of Historic Preservation (SHIPO), the original clock/water tower and chimney will be saved, and remainder of the site will be cleared for reuse.”
Empire Dismantlement Corp. of Grand Island began clearing structures from the seven-acre site and is expected to complete the first phase of demolition by mid-September. A second phase of demolition is expected to wrap up by the end of November. The site will also undergo a brownfield cleanup.
Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services James Comerford Jr. said, “The Riverside neighborhood has been waiting for this day for a number of years. My department took numerous owners to court over their neglect of this property. We were pleased to issue permits to demolish this dangerous eyesore to make way for the site’s transformation.”
In June, Brown, who serves as chairman of BUDC, announced the agreement with the state for preservation of certain elements of the 111-year-old plant, opening the door for redevelopment of the site. He subsequently announced Enterprise Folding Box Co. purchased a 30,000-square-foot cinderblock structure, located on the Isabelle Street side of the property.
Enterprise, a successful maker of pizza boxes and other food containers, paid $90,000 for the building. The company previously purchased a vacant one-acre lot that was also part of the former manufacturing site, situated adjacent to the company’s headquarters.