AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — The next month will be revealing for what, if any, progress will be made on the site of the former Northtown Plaza.
The land, which sits between Sheridan Drive and Eggert Road near Niagara Falls Boulevard, was supposed to become a high-end retail development called Station Twelve, with big brands like LL Bean and Pottery Barn.
But developer WS Development has let the bulldozed land sit virtually untouched since March 2020.
Nearly two years later, Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa is expecting WS Development engineers to be back on the site to survey the land this week. According to Kulpa, representatives from WS Development made a commitment to complete work on three of the structures currently standing on the site within the next month.
However, the timing of this commitment raises questions because several permits issued to WS Development are now expired.
"The problem is that once their permits expire, [the structure] you see that’s kind of skeletal, that’s all illegal," said Kulpa. So not only are their permits expired, but how do we assess penalty.”
WS Development has six new construction permits, according to filings provided to 7 News. According to the Town of Amherst Building Administration Ordinance, the penalty in Amherst is $250 per day of violation, per permit.
Kulpa wants to see some work completed so that tenants can eventually move in and begin doing business. He says this land has been a nuisance to the Eggertsville community for too long.
“The biggest problem is what it does to the community around it. Some of the stuff, the Starbucks, the BJ's, and those things, they’re not impacted by this. But what are impacted are the buildings along Eggert, all those small businesses. They're just staring into this desolate space. It’s really put a hamper on the economic rebirth of Eggertsville here," said Kulpa.
Danielle DePriest, owner of DEMi Salon on Eggert Road, says rent for her hair salon has been going up ever since Whole Foods moved in across the street and shovels hit the ground on the Station Twelve site. DePriest believes this is because property owners believed the planned high-end retail development would elevate property values in the area.
DePriest calls the Station Twelve saga a "never ending story."
"We were looking forward to something nicer to look at," DePriest told 7 News.
The land has been re-zoned for mixed-use development. As a result, any new permits issued to develop the land will have to include some form of residential development.
As of this publishing, WS Development has not responded to 7 News' multiple requests for comment.