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ELLICOTTVILLE – Since American Locker announced the closing of its Ellicottville facility about five years ago, the site has been dormant.

But that is expected to soon end.

New owners of the site envision the development of at least 14 apartments.

The investors, 16 Martha Street LLC, on Tuesday presented these plans to members of the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency, and proposed a sale/lease-back arrangement to aid in sales tax abatement as the project moves forward.

The project’s initial phase would convert the tallest building at the old manufacturing site into four two-story apartments. The other building – a former refrigeration unit – would feature 10 single-story apartments, according to development manager Wayne Bacon. A new building planned for the site would house 10 units. The project is along Great Valley Creek.

To ease environmental concerns that dogged American Locker when it was in operation, 16 Martha Street LLC will repair the retaining wall along the creek bank. Approval of the project has been received from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The project is likely to begin before the end of the month, Bacon said.

The apartments will be available under a term-rental arrangement, according to Bacon. They also will be available to rent on a short-term basis, he added.

“We don’t want this to look like a motel, but have a classy look,” he said.

The units also will be furnished.

“We have seen over and over that, if you offer an empty space for rent, you will rent it, but you will also have time that it is empty a lot,” project construction manager Dan Saunders said. “If you fill it with furniture, dishes, Internet, cable, you will have it packed out and filled immediately.”

Saunders noted similar furnished properties along Chautauqua Lake have been successful year-round – not just seasonally.

A public hearing will be scheduled. Once the hearing is completed and environmental concerns are met, the project will be able to begin, according to County IDA Executive Director Corey Wiktor.