AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Amherst Planning Board approved site plans for a new commerce center located off Ridge Lea Road in August.
The complex will include a Costco Wholesale and fuel, Dick’s House of Sport, a warehouse facility for Delta Sonic, and office space for KeyBank.
The project was announced last year much to the excitement of residents and shoppers in the town. Some drivers are concerned about increased traffic in that already busy area, which includes several shopping plazas off Niagara Falls Boulevard.
“When you think of those two stores, they are going to be attracting from the northtowns, from the region and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have people driving up to the southtowns to visit,” AJ Baynes, president and CEO of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, said. “It’s a busy area but that’s also commercial development. That’s where it’s supposed to be.”
Currently, the site is a demolished office park. Within the next few years, the town plans to host the massive plaza and attract even more visitors to the town from across the region.
“I think it would be really wonderful to have something different in our area,” Taylor Boneti of Amherst said. “I am truly very excited about all of it. I believe the traffic will be really crazy on the street over here. All around, I love this plaza. I shop here all the time.”
Ashish Singh was a student at University at Buffalo and still lives in the area. When he was in school, some of his friends would drive out of town to score a deal at the big box retailer.
“Costco gives a better quality at not that high rates,” Singh said. “My friend used to talk about they would go there, rent a car, go all over there and grab stuff and come back just because it is cheaper.”
Some families say Costco will be a welcomed addition to Western New York as grocery prices continue to spike. They hope the retailer will have reasonable prices and limit weekly expenses.
“Right now, things are getting expensive so if you are buying from big stores you will save a lot of money,” Rabia Usmani of Clarence said. “[When it’s built], my promise is I will be here.”
It is unclear the timeline on when the project will break ground. Baynes says the project is in front of the Department of Transportations and other agencies to make sure it is done safely.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.