Originally published by Buffalo Business First, “Rail switch may spur Lackawanna redevelopment“, by Jim Fink 2012 11 19.
Large portions of the former Bethlehem Steel property could be ready for major, private-sector investments in the next few years, thanks to relocating a short line rail line that services much of the land.
A complex multi-party agreement, with legal documents as thick as two Manhattan phone books, has cleared the way for the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to move ahead with long-stated plans of moving an existing South Buffalo Railway line back from its current location along the edges of Route 5 and deeper into the Bethlehem Steel property. The relocated line will open an estimated 400 acres of prime real estate and allow groups like the ECIDA and Buffalo Niagara Enterprise as well as commercial brokerage firms to market the property.
The Bethlehem Steel property has already landed one new tenant — Canadian-based Welded Tube Inc., that next year hopes to open a speciality steel making plant there next year that could employ as many as 125 workers.
“It took a lot of negotiations and it took a lot of parties to get everything on the table,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “We not only got it done, but we are returning steelmaking to the Bethlehem property.”
The site work is being handled by Zoldaz Construction, the lowest of seven bidders, while the rail work is being done by Syracuse-based Frank Tartaglia Inc., the lowest of six bidders.
All of the rail work should be completed by next fall.
Originally published by Buffalo Business First, “Group fights to save Lackawanna landmark,” 2012 11 19.
Residents and supporters have re-ignited the battle to save the historic Bethlehem Steel Administration Building from demolition.
Even though it has been decades since Bethlehem Steel shutdown in Lackawanna, leaving the building vacant, many believe the structure still has potential.
The building has been standing since the early 20th century. It carries the history of Buffalo’s glory days — when so many middle class Americans worked in the steel industry.
Now there is talk of bringing the building down.
Joe Peluso, whose father worked at Bethlehem Steel for decades said, “I don’t see the need to tear it down. It’s a national landmark, it’s part of our history here in Buffalo.”
An Erie County Court has put off demolition for at least a little longer. Meanwhile dozens are coming together, hoping to save the building once and for all.
The building has been abandoned since the 1980’s. It is now stained with graffiti, mold and broken glass.
Dana Saylor, who organized Sunday’s rally, has collected about 400 signatures in a petition drive to keep the structure standing.