Garden Village Plaza being demolished

Demolition work has started on the Garden Village Plaza site off French Road on July 25, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Demolition work has started on the Garden Village Plaza site off French Road on July 25, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – Demolition work on the former Garden Village Plaza has begun ahead of a scheduled fall start date according to Councilmember James Rogowski.

Demolition crews started to knock down an old car wash at the strip mall site where Benderson Development will transform the vacant property into a light manufacturing and warehousing complex.

Benderson officials told Cheektowaga Chronicle in February that demo work was to start in early spring, but Councilmember James Rogowski said that date got pushed back for an unforeseen circumstance.

“The asbestos abatement was more than they assumed to the tune of $600,000,” said Councilmember Rogowski.

“I think they are ahead of schedule of where they were going to be because in a meeting I had with the Benderson Corporation, they said in early fall, which I took as early September or October, but here we are on July 25th and they’re demoing right now,” added Councilmember Rogowski.

Benderson Development is investing $20.7 million dollars into the project.  

The site plan for the new warehouse and distribution complex at the Garden Village Plaza calls for a total of 355,00 sq ft. new space. (ECIDA Photo)
The site plan for the new warehouse and distribution complex at the Garden Village Plaza calls for a total of 355,00 sq ft. new space. (ECIDA Photo)

The next phase of the project will be to demolish the 88,000 sq ft. structure that extends from the old Tops Market to the former Ames Department store.

“Thereafter you will see the modification and renovation of the former Ames building, that is staying, along with the new construction on the roughly 95,000-foot structure that is going next to it,” Eric Recoon, Vice President of Development and Leasing at Benderson Development told Cheektowaga Chronicle in February.

“This is going to be a factory just like Rosina’s and Costanzo’s Bakery…Benderson is going to create a company here that is going to put full-time jobs in here, health benefits, people working and they can reinvest in the Town of Cheektowaga by buying homes and living in our Town and raising their families – the American Dream,” continued Councilmember Rogowski.

An additional two buildings will be built where the plaza’s parking lot currently sits to bring the entire warehouse and distribution complex footprint to 355,000 sq ft. of usable space.

Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski released the following statement:

“After 10 years of waiting for action, demolition began today at the former Garden Village Plaza.  I promised the revitalization of this plaza would be one of my top priorities, and after countless meetings and phone calls with the developer, we are finally able to see work being done at this site.  I thank the residents for their patience and also thank them for their tireless advocacy in making sure this plaza continued to remain a priority for myself and the Town Board.  No resident should have to live near or look at an eyesore such as what the Garden Village Plaza became.  Additionally, the vacant, run down plaza will no longer serve as a welcome sign to visitors entering our Town from the south on Union Road.  I look forward to the development of this site into light manufacturing and warehousing which will be home to hundreds of new, well-paying jobs and will continue the positive commercial development we have seen in the French, Union and Scrivner corridor.”