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September 3, 2009 - 12:02pm

Mancuso ready to move forward with Masse project with grant in place

 masse_gateway_project.jpg

At a press conference this morning, Tom Mancuso, president of Mancuso Development, said he was "delighted" the state approved a $1.5 million grant to help advance the Masse Gateway Project.

Even though the grant was $1 million less than originally requested by the city, Mancuso said the project should still be able to move forward.

It will cost at least $3.1 million and create an entrance off Masse Place into the Harvester industrial complex. The plan is to turn the old buildings into space suitable or light industrial and commercial uses for small businesses.

Mancuso said the the funding "really entitles us to spend a lot more money." In addition to the planned private investment from Mancuso Development, Mancuso implied his company will also need to come up with an additional $1 million to complete the project.

Audio: Tom Mancuso talks about the project.

The Batavian's news partner, WBTA, covered the press conference.

Peter O'Brien
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"really entitles us to spend a lot more money." And by that he means more of his money instead of ours.
Amanda Welsh
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well there goes my families house... :(
Peter O'Brien
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You don't have to sell to a private company unless the City gets involved.
Chelsea O'Brien
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Is there a concept map somewhere showing where they are planning on rebuilding/rehabilitating? I mean, we live between Harvester and Swan, and our property butts up to (what we've been told) the first trash dump in Batavia... so I'm just curious how close this will be
Charlie Mallow
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Amanda, from my understanding no ones house will be affected. You will probably live in a little nicer area when they are done too.
Charlie Mallow
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I know the plans were in the paper. The work is limited to those industrial buildings off Masse.
Michael Del Plato
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I like to see what kind of new low paying jobs this project is going to bring in batavia?It's a shame all this money going to buildings and not helping out the struggling tax payers out! Its costing 3 million, wheres the other 2 coming from? Is Mr. Mancuso going to pick it off his trees or is it coming from the struggling tax payers? I think its a big mistake! Were better off tearing it down and making it green space.
John Roach
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Michael, Do you mean that you would rather see no jobs at all unless they are "high" paid jobs? What would you consider "high". While I did not support that public money going into this, Mr. Mancuso is putting his own money into it and will now have to put more in. Green space does not pay property taxes. And, there is no lack of green space in Batavia.
Michael Del Plato
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Oops! OK John, Good paying jobs, like the ones we the city tax payers provide for the city workers whom have. So I can have alittle left over from my pay check after these high taxes and rates like water,etc,etc.,and take my kids out for ice cream . John, whats wrong with green space ? Look at all the vacate bluiding in this crumbling city!
Amanda Welsh
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Are you sure Charlie? Cause I Live right on Masse Pl. I just moved in and I am hoping that I will not have to move my family out in the next year? When is this project going to start anyways? This way I know when to buy my ear plugs...LOL
Donna Jackett
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There will be no jobs, believe me. Seen this sort of thing too many times before. Do the names Milton Cat and Ashley Furniture ring a bell. Promises, promises. Never> How about Main St, redo it really nice looking and they will come. Not. Its a was of money. Sorry Charlie.
Donna Jackett
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waste of money, sorry.
John Roach
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Michael, There is nothing wrong with green space, but he have lots of it now. I just would rather have that property paying higher property taxes than green space would bring in. What income level do you call "good paying"? I bet most people would like a job, even one that you think will not pay enough, rather than no job at all. And, why do you think they will be "low paying" jobs? Do you know something we have not been told?
Richard Gahagan
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Mark Potwora
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John you and i both know he won't be paying more property taxes,if anything they will be reduced because there will be less buildings over there...He'll probably get some kind of tax break from the GCEDC...Jobs,how many ..Seems like alot of what ifs.....When will us residental property owners get our tax breaks ,and how about some money so we can fix up our property...I need a new Kitchen,can the state give me some money..They take from me,to give to others so that they can tear buildings down..
Howard B. Owens
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There's one way to guarantee the property won't produce any more jobs -- do nothing. Will it produce jobs? Who knows? But why do nothing? Not that I'm behind taxpayer money going to it, but if the money was going to be spent by the state anyway, I'd rather it get spent here than in another town. And until Albany is torn down and rebuilt, this kind of spending is going to go on, so a as a matter of practicality, be glad it is being spent here. And clearly Mr. Mancuso would rather see this project be successful than not. Mancuso Development isn't investing a couple of million of its own money to see these buildings sit vacant. They obviously see a business opportunity. There is no advantage to the Mancuso's to take $1.5 million in grants, put up another million or two and then have the buildings sit vacant. That's clearly not their goal. I think you can make a legitimate small government argument against the whole RestoreNY program, but otherwise I can't see any logical reason to object to this project going forward.
John Roach
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Mark, Maybe Obama will give you a "cash for your sink" program. He seems to like that.
Richard Gahagan
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This towns in tatters Full of money grabbers
Richard Gahagan
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Sha dooby
Michael Del Plato
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Hello All, One quickie OK , Do any of you remember Raymond Sanfantello? He worked with the Chambers of Commerce. Well I heard he left Batavia because it was filled coruption BIG TIME !! And do you think things have changed here since Ray has left,about 7 yrs ago? I doubt it very very much! Thank you
Karen Miconi
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Oh, Oh, Nooo not Batavia, Corruption??? It cant be.... Im soo suprised LOL ;0) I'd like to know where the extra 1 mill is coming from.
Amy Davis
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Why hasn't anyone mentioned the asbestos hazard? What about the safety of nearby residents, and there are many on every side. Those buildings are so old, my dad worked there as a young man (born in 1916). There has to be asbestos there, among other toxins, as it was a "machine shop in earlier days. There is great cost in SAFE removal of such toxins which become "airborn" when disturbed. All nearby residents will be at great risk! I see lawsuits in the future.
Karen Miconi
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Amy that was the first thing I brought up when I heard of them tearing it down. There were heavy metals, die cast waste, asbestos ect. Just like the toxins burried behind the fire station, that they believe are draining into the creek. It is a public safety issue for sure. Sure enough this project was passed?? Didnt we hear about this months ago?? Out of the blue its passed?? I think Mancuso should have a list of potential occupants, and possible employees. Thats the idea, right, to increase employment in the city. Shouldnt they be using solar and or wind energy to power it, to be self sustaining? Maybe more people would be in favor of it if it were "Green"? How about a hydro-electric plant on the Tonawanda. God knows we have enough water, and government funding available for it.

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