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Amherst officials grow frustrated with Station Twelve project

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Posted at 2:30 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 18:55:46-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s being touted as a first of its kind lifestyle center for western New York. High end retail shopping, event space and more are part of WS Development’s vision for its Station Twelve project on the old Northtown plaza site on Sheridan Drive in Amherst.

“We’ll have “yappy hours” where people can bring their dogs, We’ll have significant art events with Albright Knox,” said WS Development representative Brian Sciera during the project ground breaking in November of 2019.

“It’s pretty quiet out there,” said Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa standing at the vacant site.

For the past year, the Boston based developer has been slow to make any progress on a project that was supposed to be finished in 2020.

“Frustrated is one word for it,” Kulpa said. “Frankly, I’m sick of it. And, I think a lot of people in Amherst are sick of it.”

Kulpa said he last spoke with a project representative several weeks ago. ”They’re very committed to it. It’s just that they lack actual progress on the site.>

The pandemic caused prior delays, but it’s unclear now what’s causing the hold up now. Kulpa said they were expected to resume construction on June 1. “Not only is it an eye sore but it also creates a problem because we’re not creating the cross pollination of business activity.”

We reached out to the developer for answers but haven’t heard back.

According to Kulpa, high end outdoor retailer LL Bean pulled out. Public Expresso among other previously named retail stores are now in question. The Buffalo coffee chain didn't respond to our inquiries about whether it still plans to open a shop at Station Twelve.

The project building permits are set to expire at the end of 2021. Kulpa said the town won’t renew them if there isn’t any progress. “It’s a really big deal this location. And, it’s not something that we should take lightly,” he concluded.