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$7 Million Asbestos Abatement Among Largest in Buffalo, NY History

One of Buffalo, New York’s historic landmarks is nearing the end of a massive asbestos abatement project that is among the largest in state history. According to The Buffalo News, the owners, an investment company known as Landco H&L, had plans to convert the former department store and 375,000-square-foot complex into “a new hotel, at least two restaurants and multiple other features.”

The project quickly evolved into a “full-scale Wyndham Buffalo Hotel,” two restaurants, a NYC-style nightclub, an arcade, and a top-floor steakhouse with a glass ceiling. The Buffalo News reports that there is also a 10-story atrium planned in the center, plus 6,000 to 8,000 square feet of additional retail space, a large pool and spa in the basement, and 40,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space on the second floor.

While work on the ambitious project got underway more than 18 months ago, it was interrupted by “a contractor dispute and then delayed by the vast amount of asbestos and other environmental contamination in the long-abandoned building.” The scope of work was held up and then expanded at the direction of the state Department of Labor, which oversees asbestos removal work. Brian Frost, CEO of Loung Construction, a company formed to perform the project for Landco H&L, explained that “the state asked the contractors to completely "gut the building" because of the "level of contamination" that was left behind by a prior contractor.” 

“So to be safe,” he said, “we removed anything that was not historically required to stay." According to The Buffalo News, Frost was referring to “the historic preservation status of the project and the oversight of that component of the project by state and federal regulators.”

Because there was so much asbestos in the building, it took two shift crews to complete the daunting task, which ended up costing Landco more than anticipated. Including the $7 million dollar asbestos abatement, the total cost for the project was $70 million. This delayed completion of the entire project, which was scheduled for early 2018.

Did you know that many older buildings and homes still contain asbestos? Asbestos is the only cause of an aggressive cancer known as mesothelioma. There is no cure for the disease.

If you suspect that your home or workplace contains asbestos, contact your state department of environmental protection or health. Visit EPA.gov for a directory.

 

Sources

Epstein, Jonathan D. "$7 Million Asbestos Removal Nearly Done at AM&A's Project." The Buffalo News. The Buffalo News, 03 Apr. 2018. Web. 14 Apr. 2018.

Wachadlo, Martin. "The J. N. Adam & Co./AM&A's Department Store." Buffalo Architecture and History. Ingenious Inc., 2003. Web. 14 Apr. 2018.