A 47-acre former manufacturing site on Wheeler Street in the City of Tonawanda is ready for new business.
The site of the former Spaulding Fibre manufacturing plant has undergone $20.6 million in environmental cleanup and infrastructure construction to prepare it to become the Spaulding Commerce Park.
The land, owned by the city, now has new roads, utilities and landscaping in preparation for commercial and light industrial development.
“It took eight and a half years to make this happen,” said City of Tonawanda Mayor Ronald Pilozzi. “It’s shovel-ready. It’s well within a mile from the Youngmann Expressway.”
Pilozzi joined county, state and federal officials at the site on Thursday to mark the completion of the cleanup. He said the project could not have been accomplished without all of those levels of government working together.
The former plastics and laminates manufacturing site, once owned by Spaulding Fibre Co., was abandoned in 2005 after the company’s bankruptcy proceedings were completed. It had been closed since 1992, and four acres of the land was part of a state Superfund cleanup.
Funding for the cleanup, the demolition of vacant buildings and the construction of new infrastructure came from the state Department of Environment Conservation, Erie County, Empire State Development Corp., the City of Tonawanda, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and National Grid.
Pilozzi said the city has had several inquires from businesses about the site, which can be split into parcels depending on the needs of a company.
“This problem was too big for any one agency to handle alone,” County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said in a written statement. “And it took more than eight years of work involving participation from the public and private sectors to transform what was an environmentally hazardous neighborhood eyesore into a shovel-ready business park.”