The first step

OBSERVER Assistant News Editor

IRVING – Customers of McDonalds’ restaurants are used to getting their burgers and fries in short order. Those accustomed to this fast pace should be comfortable with the time frame to see a McDonalds, hotel and water park pop up in Irving.

Motorists and residents may have noticed a sign on Route 5 and 20 in Irving recently that proclaims the fast food restaurant will soon be here.

According to Developer Tony Borrello, Big Mac lovers will not have long to wait.

“McDonalds bought the property and construction should be starting soon. It will take a couple of months and be open in the fall. We closed on the property a couple weeks ago and now (McDonalds) is in the process of getting building permits,” he reported.

The project, which includes McDonalds as well as a 72-room hotel and 20,000 square foot water park, was previously in danger of being moved out of the town of Hanover. Borrello had complained of delays and a failure of the town to work with him. County Legislator George Borrello, also a cousin of Tony’s, organized a meeting with town officials and seemed to work out issues.

As a result of that meeting, the necessary permits to allow McDonalds to be built were expedited.

The community also turned out to show its support for the development with nearly 700 signatures were collected in support of the benefits the development will provide the area.

Borrello said McDonalds was the first step in the development process.

“It was the first part. It has always been the plan to have them buy the land. … It took a while, but now construction of the water park is next,” he said.

According to Borrello, once McDonalds is constructed, work will begin on the hotel and water park.

“We expect to be open by the spring. Construction should take four to five months. Right now we are just waiting on permits and still talking with Hanover,” he said.

Many people have compared the proposed development to Splash Lagoon in Erie, Pa. Borrello said the water park will be similar. There are no comparable water parks between Erie and Buffalo, and it is hoped this will attract water-loving tourists.

In addition, there are no hotels in Sunset Bay, with the closest ones in Dunkirk, over 10 miles away. It was originally projected 150 permanent full- and part-time jobs will be created. It is also hoped this development will spur further business growth in the area.