More time needed

A project that was hoped to restore a significant part of Dunkirk’s industrial park by next year, will take a little longer than expected.

In February, the Roberts Road Development Corporation Board sold the former Edgewood Warehouse and adjoining property, where the former Alumax and Roblin Steel companies were located, to Atwater Capital LLC for $100,660 in order to develop the property.

The board set a schedule for Atwater to submit construction plans by June, have evidence of financing and a building permit by this month, start construction in August and finish by next year or the ownership of the property would revert back to the RRDC.

At the February meeting, Atwater President William A. Cocose said he had at least one tenant and was speaking with three others.

However, at Monday’s board meeting, County Attorney Steve Abdella explained the developer has requested more time to find different tenants.

“As is known with the announcement some months ago, ConAgra will not be continuing (operations) in the community. They were potentially a primary tenant for the proposed space. So, the developer, Atwater, has requested a six-month extension on the agreement to allow them to look at other potential tenants,” he explained.

This loss is not new to the property, which was acquired by the county in 2009. After that time the former developer, Krog Corporation, was in talks with Cliffstar for several years. Cliffstar was later sold to Cott and the deal fell through.

Dunkirk City Mayor Anthony J. Dolce asked if the extension has been cleared with Empire State Development, which last year awarded the project RESTORE NY funds and has expressed a desire to see movement going forward.

“I think what we will do is if this passes, we will make contact with both them and the (Department of Environmental Conservation) to make sure that everyone is on the same page,” Abdella said.

County Executive Vince Horrigan said he will be meeting with ESD today on a different matter and will discuss it with representatives then.

With no other concerns, the resolution to give Atwater a six-month extension was unanimously passed by board members Horrigan, Legislature Chairman Frank “Jay” Gould and Dolce.

The board also passed a resolution to name Kevin Sanvidge, CEO of the Chautauqua County IDA, the president of the RRDC.

“Previously Bill Daly was the CEO of the Chautauqua County IDA and the president of the RRDC. He, of course, has retired and has been replaced by Kevin, so it would be appropriate to have Kevin succeed Bill as president of RRDC,” Abdella explained.

Abdella added the next RRDC Board meeting will be determined at a later date based on need.