The longstanding Station Twelve project at 3097 Sheridan Drive near Niagara Falls Boulevard is still not complete, after construction was originally halted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, construction either has started and stopped for various reasons or has moved at what seems like a snail’s pace, frustrating local leaders and residents alike.
Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa said that progress is being made, with the concrete being poured for curbs at the front and three buildings completed, although no tenants have moved in yet.
“We’re on pace to have three buildings done by the end of the year,” Kulpa said back in September of 2022, when construction had slowed to a crawl.
Kulpa said the three buildings have since been completed, but they won’t be built out until tenants are secured. The buildings will be built out based on tenant specifications. They will finish the parking lot and site by the end of the summer, Kulpa said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving them a pass,” Kulpa said. “They certainly slowed down and choked from 2020 to 2022. It’s caused me a lot of frustration. It’s been a constant shoving match.”
Back in 2022, the Town of Amherst, frustrated with delays, gave the developer an ultimatum to finish three of the original six buildings or their construction permits would not be renewed. The developer, Boston-based WS Development, originally cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason construction came to a sudden halt back in the spring of 2020, after then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated strict restrictions on construction sites as part of pandemic mitigation measures. However, the company has not given any reason for the slow pace of construction since then.
“With WS Development, they certainly have not had the fire [to complete the job] behind them,” Kulpa said.
WS Development originally bought the site in 2015, adding the Whole Foods store in 2017 before site work was stopped in 2020. Since then, an At Home store has been added next to Whole Foods, while the remainder of the site has been under construction since 2020.
The WS website page states, “Station Twelve is conveniently located in the center of Buffalo’s strongest demographic corridor. Station Twelve enjoys a highly dense, affluent trade area served by an incredible road network that makes the site both easily accessible and very visible. Station Twelve will be the region’s first upscale open-air retail project, complementing the incredible growth and resurgence happening in this historic city.”
The website originally listed tenants including LL Bean, but has since taken down any mention of potential tenants.
Kulpa said WS Development will not divulge which tenants are planned for the project since they lost LL Bean to Boulevard Consumer Square a year ago.
Amherst Building Commissioner Mark Berke assembled a Station Twelve update for the supervisor and town board.
According to Berke, building shells for F-1 and F-2 are basically complete. Exterior finishes are nearing completion, i.e., Dryvit, siding, etc. They are waiting on future possible tenants prior to completing the storefront (glass and entry), and these areas are temporarily enclosed.
The Eggert Road side site work, loading ramp and mezzanine are in progress; power has been approved; and buildings D and E are about two weeks behind schedule with regard to interior shell finishes. Exteriors are nearly complete. They are working on temporary electric power while waiting for final electric service from National Grid.
Sidewalks and site work at the front are underway. Curbing and site work are progressing throughout the entire area encompassing new buildings. The Sheridan Drive entrance adjacent to building D is underway.
Berke said that “We expect these all to be complete prior to the expiration of the permits.”
The developer has shared nothing with the Amherst Building Department on any tenant timelines.
Source: Amherst Bee