OLEAN — Add National Grid to the list of those helping to turn a long-dormant brownfield off Buffalo Street into the $17 million Olean Gateway LLC project featuring a hotel, a restaurant and commercial retail space.
National Grid has invested $300,000 in the redevelopment of the former brownfield site owned by The Krog Group of Orchard Park. The project will include six buildings.
The National Grid grant will help remediate the 58-acre brownfield site, including removal of hazardous waste, installation of required infrastructure and development of building foundations for reuse.
“This is an exciting project for Olean and the surrounding area, as it will create new jobs and revitalize what was once a contaminated industrial site,” said Kenneth Kujawa, regional manager for National Grid. “Economic development that takes advantage of existing sites, especially brownfields, provides lasting benefit in the host community.”
Last month it was reported that delays of the project were being overcome and work would resume this fall. Krog received a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement, as well as sales tax and mortgage tax exemptions, for the project.
Olean Mayor Bill Aiello, who had just learned about the National Grid investment, said, “It’s a good thing that National Grid is investing in this Olean site. It sounds like it’s good news for The Krog Group too.” He said he expects further construction at the site soon.
Krog plans to donate the new street leading into the Olean Gateway soon, according to Aiello. He wants to name the street “John Murphy Way” for the late John “Jack” Murphy, the Olean native who went on to become the youngest CEO of Dresser Industries.
The first construction at Olean Gateway will involve retail stores; Olean Gateway has already hired a firm to market the new retail opportunity. The next phase will involve construction of a four-story hotel.
“The Krog Group is pleased to be working with the National Grid, the city of Olean and New York state to return a long-abandoned brownfield site to productive reuse,” said company President Peter Krog. “Cleanup work is complete, and road and utility construction are underway.
“We look forward to continued development of the commercial facilities at the Olean Gateway site. Without the assistance of National Grid and the cooperation of the city and state, this project would not be possible.”
National Grid’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program provides grants to fund utility-related infrastructure improvements and other costs necessary to progress the redevelopment of a brownfield site or vacant building.
"It is fantastic to see such great progress result from the $1 million state grant I worked to secure for Olean through the Restore New York program to remediate and redevelop this area, and I salute National Grid for joining our efforts through their investment,” said State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean. “Transforming a blighted, vacant, contaminated site that is a major entryway into Olean into a vibrant economic hub will grow jobs and prosperity while giving the proper impression about what a special community we are fortunate to have.”
State Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, also lauded the news.
“When combined with state and local funds and incentives, this funding will provide additional resources necessary to ensure the success of this significant economic development project,” he said. “The rehabilitation and redevelopment of this brownfield is an important step in revitalizing the city of Olean and the surrounding area.”