Chemical plant calls foul on plans for new downtown sports complex

Local News
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A new sports complex could be coming to downtown Buffalo soon, but not if the chemical plant next door has its way. The plan for the 3-million-dollar sports complex has been approved by the Buffalo Common Council. It would be on Elk street near the PVS chemical plant.

The empty lot near the corner of Elk and Babcock street in Buffalo may not be empty for much longer.

“We’re trying to bring excitement and an investment back to an area of the city that’s really faced a lot of abandonment,” said Phil Pantano, spokesperson for South Buffalo Development.

It could be the home of a new downtown sports complex. Phil Pantano is the spokesperson for South Buffalo Development, the developer behind the project valued at more than $3 million.

It includes a 26 thousand square feet indoor fieldhouse and an outdoor playing field.

Pantano says people living in the area are ready to play ball.

“They’re excited, they’re excited to see investment and activity and people coming back to the neighborhood,” said Pantano.

But some neighbors, like the PVS Chemical Plant, are calling foul. The plant manager says the field would be downwind from the sulfuric acid manufacturing plant.

He says in a statement:

“PVS is concerned that if the general public is invited to attend an outdoor sporting event just yards away from the fence of a fully active chemical plant, they could be upset or unhappy with industrial smells, sights and sounds. And that could lead to complaints and other undesirable issues affecting businesses on both sides of that fence.”

-Chris Cancilla, PVS Chemical Solutions

“They operate a safe plant. We believe them. They said there’s no danger so if there’s no danger to the residents that live right across the street from where we’re standing, there’s certainly no danger to people who are coming to enjoy an athletic complex,” said Pantano.

PVS also says the soil at this site, the former home of Buffalo Color, is still contaminated.

But Pantano says the Department of Environmental Conservation didn’t raise any concerns about the project.

The PVS plant manager tells News 4 they’re meeting with the developer next week in hopes of coming to a compromise.

This project has already been approved by the Common Council. The last step is for it to go the Planning Board on May 7th for a vote.

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