Nearly $2M announced to make space for development at former Bethlehem Steel site

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Several local leaders came together Thursday morning in Lackawanna to announce more funding to move the railroad facilities on the former site of Bethlehem Steel.

The existing South Buffalo railyard facilities are currently at Renaissance Commerce Park along Route 5, on the site of the former steel company. The goal is to move them further back on the property in order to facilitate redevelopment opportunities.

During the morning, Congressman Tim Kennedy announced an additional $1.8 million in state funds to close the gap and accomplish this. Kennedy says this funding, which builds upon $5 million already provided by the state, was secured while he was serving his previous role as a New York State senator.

Kennedy has been a proponent of moving these facilities. His office says that since 2013, more than $130 million has been dedicated to the former steel plant site through private investments. Roughly $40 million more has come from federal, state and local governments to create and maintain public infrastructure, Kennedy’s office said, creating hundreds of jobs in the process.

As a result of the movement, roughly 50 acres of land will be opened up for development. According to Kennedy, it will also enable the southward expansion of the Shoreline Trail.

Kennedy was joined by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, County Legislature Chair April Baskin, Lackawanna Mayor Annette Iafallo and Erie County Industrial Development Agency President John Cappellino.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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