AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — It was touted by developers at the region’s first upscale open-air retail project, but two years after its groundbreaking and the site of Station Twelve sits empty.
Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa said it will likely remain that way.
“At this point, we’ve got an abusive developer from out of state,” Kulpa said. “For us in Amherst here, we’re content to let [the developer’s] permits run out.”
WS Development originally paused work on the Sheridan Drive site due to COVID-19 but never started back up this summer as they planned. Kulpa said their permits expire at the end of 2021, and the town has no plans to renew.
“Permits running out certainly causes some dilemma because they’re going to have partially built buildings on the site, so they’re going to have to spend money to take buildings down or take the skeletons down,” he said. “For us, I’m content to say ‘hey, develop, move forward, or walk away and sell to somebody else.'”
Kulpa said he wasn’t a fan of the project to begin with because, as retail-only, it could impact the town’s taxes. Instead, he wants to see a mixed-use property built at that site.
“The flexibility or viability of the retail market causes groups to challenge their assessed value of their buildings and causes fluctuation in our tax records, and that’s not healthy,” Kulpa said. “But if you build mixed-use and you have residential, or office, or residential and office over retail, then you have stability because the developer has a guaranteed income stream.”
The town has already rezoned that area for mixed-use development, so Kulpa said the ball is in WS Development’s court.
News 4 has reached out to the developers for comment, but we have not heard back at this time.
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