Cold Storage Slated For Roberts Road Brownfield In Dunkirk

DUNKIRK — The project to construct a cold storage warehouse has been in the churn for a while, but partnership of local governments is finally bringing it closer to being a reality.

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency will hold a public hearing on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. in the SUNY Fredonia Incubator on the acquisition, demolition and construction of a new cold storage facility at 320 Roberts Road. The public hearing will also extend to any financial assistance extended to 320 Roberts Road Freezer LLC.

CCIDA Chief Financial Officer and Interim Director Richard Dixon said it has been a long process to find the right spot and the right developer to make this project happen.

“We had looked at a bunch of different sites in the city and outside the city to see which one would be suitable. The person who was originally going to build the freezer didn’t really care for any of the sites and the company wanted it to be close to them and they wanted it in the city, so the brownfield site was what we considered to be the best site and they decided no to build on that parcel, so they just opted out of the whole project. We had been working with some people during some of the brownfield remediation — Peter Krog — Peter’s still involved with the brownfield program there and helping us along, so there’s a company being formed there now … and Peter Krog and Pete Wilson from Sonwil (Distribution Center) are involved in the LLC,” Dixon said.

He said through all the uncertainty, it took strong leadership and partnership to get the project where it is.

“This couldn’t have got done without Mayor Rosas, he has pushed and pushed and pushed and we have a great partnership with the mayor and the county and the IDA on this project. He has just been great,” he explained. “I want to thank the mayor for his leadership and George Borrello was involved even when he was a legislator. George and the county are fully behind the project too. It’s a true partnership between the county, the city and the IDA and our partner Peter Krog.”

Dixon explained the financial assistance will include exemption of sales tax on building materials and assets with a useful life of one year as well as mortgage recording tax and property taxes in the form of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement.

“This cleans up that blighted building and it’s going to look fabulous when it’s done, so we’re all very excited about it. It’ll get cleaned up and it’ll go back on the tax roll. We will do a PILOT, so they’ll be paying PILOT payments. All the taxing jurisdictions will be getting money, whereas before they were getting nothing because the county owned it. We think it might spur even more development,” he said.

In October, the site, which originally housed the American Locomotive Company from 1910 to 1963, was slated for cleanup following environmental testing by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Due to past uses, heavy metals were found in the soil and groundwater.

Prior to interest in developing the site for cold storage, the city was looking to clean up the site. Last year’s assessment was the first step in that cleanup, according to officials.

Dixon added Krog has experience with the arduous brownfield process ahead.

“Peter Krog has a great reputation here in Chautauqua County. He was very familiar with that site. He was going to build a freezer there years ago for Cott. So, he understands the brownfield program; he did the first brownfield in New York state. He originally wasn’t going to be an owner in this or maybe not even the builder, he was just helping the IDA and the company to get through the brownfield part of it. He has stepped forward along with his partner. We keep moving down the road, I know they need to negotiate with Fieldbrook for a lease and all that, but we’re very optimistic this will get all done and we’re very happy Peter Krog and his group is involved. As you know, Peter’s building a $35 million hotel out in Celoron here, … he built the BWB building here in Jamestown where our officer currently are, and then he built Western New York Urology as well. So, Peter’s had a rich history here in Chautauqua County. We have a great partnership with him and he’s able to provide the space that Fieldbrook needs, so we’re very excited about this project,” he said.

The Feb. 6 public hearing is open to the public.