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"Smart growth" touted at Tonawanda site in Erie County

Spaulding Fibre.JPG
Mike Desmond/WBFO

Local development officials say the new industrial park on the old Spaulding Fibre site in the City of Tonawanda in Erie County is an example of "smart growth" strategy in economic development.

The 47 newly landscaped acres with new streets and new underground utilities replace a deteriorated and contaminated 860,000 square foot complex. It was once used to make one of the earliest industrial plastics. 

The site still has major city streets, an adjacent railroad line, the nearby Youngmann Highway and high-voltage power lines along the property line. 

Erie County Industrial Development Agency Executive Vice President John Cappellino says many companies like this kind of site.

"We get inquiries and a lot of times people think about an urban setting like this. But there are companies that are really looking for not only this type of setting," Cappellino said

"As  the county executive and everyone else pointed out, the story tells itself and there are a lot of companies that look at these types of facilities and want to be part of a smart growth, rebirth facility"

County officials say the Spaulding land will go along with other development sites like the busy Lakeside Commerce Park and the old and gradually re-developing Bethlehem Steel property.

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