11/8/13: Erie County, Village of Lancaster Break Through on Revitalization

Modified: January 23, 2015 2:09pm

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Demolition of BOCES Building Clears Way for Rebirth of West Main Street & Central Business District

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Erie County Legislator Terry McCracken (D-8th District), NYS Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D-143rd District), and Village of Lancaster Mayor Paul Maute to announce the impending demolition of the LVP Complex (known as the “BOCES Building”), which will spur the re-installation of the original West Main Street in the Village and revitalize the Village’s Central Business District. A combination of Erie County and NYS funding provided for asbestos abatement and demolition of the structure.

“By investing in the removal of the LVP Complex and removing the hurdle it presented to attracting business, Erie County is partnering with the Village of Lancaster to recreate and reinvigorate the Central Business District, which is an essential part of any community,” said Poloncarz. “Residents and businesses alike will appreciate the reinstallation of West Main Street and the walkable, business-friendly atmosphere that will accompany it. As I mentioned in my ‘Initiatives for a Smart Economy’ address, smart growth projects like this are critical to reviving village centers around Erie County.”

Erie County Legislator Terry McCracken added, “I'm very pleased to see this project come to fruition as it will be a useful conduit to spur much needed economic development for the Village of Lancaster. I appreciate all of the work and cooperation between Erie County and the Village that has brought us here."

Originally, West Main Street in the Village extended from in front of the Lancaster Opera House on Central Avenue to Aurora Street.  A large fire in the early 1960’s destroyed half of the West Main Street block, and the LVP Complex was built in the early 1970’s to fill the remaining void as an attempt to revitalize the Village Central Business District. Owned by the Village of Lancaster Community Development Corporation (“VLCDC”), the 86,000-square foot LVP Complex has been subdivided numerous times over the years, with parts of the building remaining vacant throughout that time.

The VLCDC is demolishing approximately 39,000 square feet of the complex through the use of $650,000 of Erie County Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”) Funds, as Erie County originally awarded the Village of Lancaster $300,000 in 2009 to conduct an asbestos survey and develop engineering demolition drawings. In 2012, an additional $350,000 CDBG grant was awarded to ensure proper funds were available to complete the asbestos removal and demolition work. Additional funding for the project was secured through New York State.

"When I was presented with the opportunity to bring $600,000 of capital funds through the NYS Economic Development Program to the 143rd district in 2012, I sought out projects that would dynamically change our community for the better," said Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak.  "The $250,000 capital grant to be used toward the demolition of an existing building and the reconstruction of the roadway will enhance the village feel that is present along Central Avenue and open up new commercial, retail and residential prospects in the Central Business District."

Approximately ten years ago, the Village developed a new master Plan which required the reinstallation of the original West Main Street and the demolition of the LVP Complex. As part of the 2012 agreement between Erie County and the Village of Lancaster, the Village committed to the construction of the new West Main Street after completion of the demolition.

Village of Lancaster Mayor Paul Maute added, “I am honored to have the opportunity to be a small part of this historic moment, a process that begins the revival of the economic and social center of our community, the Village of Lancaster business district. Thank you to all of the volunteers and village board members who supported this initiative many years ago, your foresight and vision has now become a reality.”

The demolition project is scheduled to be completed in January 2014.