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Brickhouse Commons LLC

January 13, 2022 - 8:39pm

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Randy Fancher, president of J&R Specialties of Akron, citing ongoing supply chain issues and inflation, presented a fourth version of his company’s plan to develop three parcels at the corner of Route 5 and Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke to the Genesee County Planning Board tonight.

“We’ve been here before,” said Fancher, speaking of the planning board’s previous approvals of the Brickhouse Commons LLC mixed-use project – a pair of buildings combining retail and residential near Brickhouse Corners Drive and Tim Hortons, and across from Pembroke High School.

While that venture is still on the table, Fancher and his brother, Jeff, vice president, now are proposing to construct a 42,000-square-foot warehouse and office building – between the two mixed-use structures.

“Our core business needs have changed drastically over the last year with all the supply chain issues and inflation, and so we are now having to stock way more product than in the past,” he said. “So, now this is our core need for this warehouse.”

Fancher told The Batavian that the company’s current set-up – working out of three separate facilities in Akron – is “extremely inefficient.”

“As everything in the world has changed recently, we have decided it would be much more efficient to build a new warehouse/office complex large enough to have everything under one roof,” he said.

Pending final approvals from the town and other agencies, the Fanchers said they are committed to developing the warehouse/office first, followed by the mixed-use apartments/retail space and, eventually, a three-story mixed use building with commercial on the first floor and 17 apartments on the second and third floors farther south along Route 77.

Fancher said that J&R Specialties already has received approvals for the mixed-use buildings, which are located in the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s Buffalo East Technology Park in the town’s Interchange District.

Planning Board member Tom Schubmehl, a Pembroke resident, asked Fancher about the amount of truck traffic the warehousing operation would produce.

Fancher replied that the plan calls for the loading dock to accommodate three tractor-trailers at any time, adding that he figures there will be three to five semis at the location per day.

“… the drawing we submitted was only a conceptual,” he said. “We had to check with the Town of Pembroke to see if they needed curbs -- what their curb requirements were. Once we get approval, we’ll move into an actual site plan and then we can address semi flow.”

Planning Board Chair Laraine Caton noted that the intersection will become quite contested before Planning Director Felipe Oltramari mentioned that the trucks will enter and exit from Brickhouse Corners Drive, which is off of Route 5.

The board then recommended approval of the site plan, with modifications pertaining to acquisition of a stormwater permit, signage that complies with the town’s zoning regulations, and meeting Enhanced 9-1-1 standards and (the recently added) public safety radio system in-building coverage requirements.

PEMBROKE IN THE CANNABIS ‘ZONE’

The planning board also recommended approval of the Town of Pembroke’s desire to amend its zoning test to include “cannabis related businesses” throughout the 41.7-square-mile municipality.

The town has opted in to allow cannabis dispensaries and on-site consumption establishments in accordance with New York State’s Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act. Other Genesee County communities that opted in are the City of Batavia, Towns of Darien and Pavilion, and Village of Corfu.

The text amendment would allow for cannabis related businesses to operate with a special use permit.

Schubmehl commented that Pembroke will become “the county’s business center for marijuana distribution,” prompting Oltramari to advise that cannabis sales already are taking place on the nearby Tonawanda Seneca Nation Reservation.

INCENTIVE TO COMPLETE SURVEY

Oltramari said that Genesee County is number one in the state thus far in terms of people responding to an online survey about broadband access (www.geneseebroadband.com). He said that 3 percent of households have filled out the survey, which is twice as much as any other county.

County residents completing the survey can enter a drawing for a “Dine, Stay & Play Package” at Batavia Downs Gaming which includes a one-night stay for two at the Hotel at Batavia Downs and $50 towards a meal at Fortune’s restaurant (valid Sunday-Thursday).

The planning director said he will be presenting the Genesee 2050 Comprehensive Plan and Recreation Plan to the County Legislature’s Public Service Committee next Tuesday.

Drawing above: Brickhouse Commons site plan -- Route 5 (Main Road) is at right; Route 77 (Alleghany Road) is at the bottom. The proposed warehouse/office building is located between the two proposed commercial/residential buildings. 

Previously: GCEDC board approves assistance for Pembroke mixed-use project

August 11, 2021 - 3:02pm

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Randy Fancher, president of Fancher Properties of Akron, is returning to the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night for a third time to propose a revised site plan for a mixed-use project on Main Road between Brickhouse Corners Drive and Tim Hortons in the Town of Pembroke.

The latest version has Fancher Properties of Akron, doing business as Brickhouse Commons LLC, constructing a two-story building with 7,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor, along with driveways, parking lots and a six-bay tenant parking garage to the south.

A review of his site plan is on the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting starting at 7 o’clock at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

“This is basically the third version considering changes requested by the DOT (NYS Department of Transportation) and issues with wetlands,” Fancher said. “So, this is where we have to start until we hear back from the Army Corps of Engineers on our request for wetland reclassification, which could take up to a year. We didn’t want to wait so we decided to get started here.”

Fancher said that his company will begin construction once all permits are obtained and verbal commitments for tax incentives from the Genesee County Economic Development Center are approved.

“We’re looking to start in the late fall and hope to have the building up about a year from now,” he said.

The project has changed in scope from what Fancher Properties proposed last June – going from a three-story mixed-use building with retail on the first floor and 17 apartments on the top two floors.

In January of this year, the company modified its plan to a two-story mixed-use building along with two buildings housing 12 apartments.

“Last year, we were already to go but then the DOT said that we couldn’t have a driveway onto Route 77,” Fancher said. “We’ve had a few challenges up to this point but we’re working through them.”

Because of the DOT’s concerns, the company moved the location from Route 77 to Main Road (Route 5).

“We’re still on the corner, basically, but instead of building on Route 77, we’re on Route 5,” Fancher said, adding that the venture was delayed because the DOT would not allow a curb cut onto Route 77,

“We have to connect a road from Route 77 over to Brickhouse Corners Road, which is where Yancey’s Fancy is located. There are wetlands there and we’ve applied to the Army Corps of Engineers for reclassification because, right now, the road has a big curve in it,” he said. “Once we get that approval, we can continue on to Phase 2 and Phase 3, which will consist of more retail and more apartments.”

The development’s location is the GCEDC’s Buffalo East Technology Park in the Town of Pembroke’s Interchange District.

Fancher said he and his brother, Jeff, company vice president, plan to reach out to companies such as Starbucks or Mighty Taco to gauge their interest in placing a store at the site.

Other referrals on tomorrow’s planning board agenda include:

-- Downtown design review for a new façade, lighting and signage on one side of the Batavia Tailors & Cleaners building at 33-39 Ellicott St., along with a new rooftop heating and air conditioning unit.

-- Downtown design review for the addition of four wall-mounted canopies, one large structural entrance canopy, new wall paneling and new freestanding signage at Fieldstone Private Wealth, 219 East Main St., at the intersection of Summit Street. The project is part of the New York Main Street grant program administered by the Batavia Development Corp.

-- Downtown design review of the Healthy Living Campus project in the city, with developers seeking approval to remove multiple buildings and construct new ones.

-- Site plan review and sign permit request from Zambito Realtors to convert a dwelling into a new realty office across from Applebee’s on Lewiston Road. The project includes siding, windows, and removing a breezeway to make it into an office with handicap ramp.

-- Site plan review and special use permit in a Commercial district for Alvamar Healthy Foods to use 1,000 square feet on the first floor of the Masonic Temple building at 12 S. Lake Ave. in Bergen for freeze drying, warehousing and shipping of healthy snacks.

Owners Eddie Alvord and Michael Marsocci’s application indicates that Phase 2 would be the addition of retail space in the front area of the building to dispense healthy snack foods with no preservatives.

-- Site plan review for Tamara Parker to reuse an existing storefront at 22 East Main St., Corfu, for a sign and vinyl graphics business to be known as TMP Signs.

-- Special use permit for PCORE Electric, Inc., 135 Gilbert St., Le Roy, to build a 227 square-foot addition for an office.

Photo: Architect's rendering of Brickhouse Commons mixed-use building proposed by Fancher Properties of Akron near the intersection of Route 5 and Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke.

June 12, 2020 - 12:58pm

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The developer of a proposed mixed-use building across from Pembroke Central High School on Route 77 says he plans to find a national chain to occupy retail space on the first floor of the 32,000-square-foot facility that also will include 17 apartments on the second and third floors.

Randy Fancher, president of Fancher Properties, today said he’s looking forward to continuing the process after receiving a recommendation of approval with modifications of a special use permit from the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night.

“We do have a commercial space available with a drive-thru, so once we get the Town’s blessing on the 24th, we’re going to start soliciting Mighty Taco, Starbucks, some national chain to be an anchor tenant,” said Fancher, speaking of the Brickhouse Commons LLC project.

The Pembroke Town Planning Board will consider granting final approval of the project at its next meeting on June 24.

Fancher said Fancher Properties (his brother, Jeff, is vice president) is entering into the development arena for the first time.

“We work in the construction industry and we work on these projects all over Western New York,” he said. “We’ve not physically been the owner of one, but we’re involved in a lot of them. This exact building was just built in Rochester by another developer and we bought their plans.”

The plan is to construct a three-story multi-use building featuring 8,200 square feet of space for retail businesses as well as indoor parking and fitness area for tenants on the first floor and 15 two-bedroom and two one-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors.

The $3 million development will be located at the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s Buffalo East Technology Park in the Town of Pembroke’s Interchange District.

Fancher said he has received a verbal commitment from the GCEDC on his company’s request for $615,924 of property, sales, and mortgage tax incentives. GCEDC officials estimate that the project will produce $5.50 of economic impact for every $1 of proposed incentives.

Genesee County planners supported the plan, but called for revisions that include a driveway connection or road extension between the parking lot and Brick House Corners Drive, and a pedestrian connection between the development and Tim Hortons to the north.

They also urged Fancher to consult with Pembroke Central School District administration to address potential safety issues involved pedestrians – primarily students – crossing Route 77.

Fancher, whose children attend Pembroke Central, said that is a priority.

“As far as the crosswalk, I have no problems talking with the DOT (Department of Transportation) to see what their recommendations are to make it safe,” he said.

County planners also questioned the configuration of the drive-thru, noting that the site plan has it passing through parking spots.

“The drive-thru set up is a little unique but the engineer that we’ve worked with has done this on other projects in Buffalo and Ellicottville,” Fancher said. “The way the property is laid out, that’s the way the drive-thru has to be.”

He said a “best-case scenario” has construction starting this fall with completion in the fall of 2021.

In other action, county planners recommended:

-- Approval of a referral of the “final plat” of the Clinton Gardens Subdivision filed by Batavia Homes & Development (owners John and Leslie Harrower) on property behind 387 Garden Drive.

The proposal outlines the division of a portion of the property’s 11 acres into six separate single-family parcels on detached lots, with five of them dimensioned for development and the remaining portion to be set aside for future development.

Robert Pidanick, senior project manager for Nussbaumer & Clarke Inc., of Buffalo, said the project will result in the connection of the current dead-end streets Carolwood Drive and Harrold Square, adding that work on 460 feet of new road is expected to be start next week.

He also said that one home is already under construction.

Future plans call for the creation of 17 more lots to complete the development, Pidanick said.

The project will be considered by the City Planning & Development Committee next Tuesday.

-- Approval of a referral for a special use permit and area variance for an addition of 20 housing units at DePaul Apartments, 555 E. Main St., Batavia.

The plan calls for the construction of a 20,100-square-foot, two-story addition on the north side of the existing 42-unit development for low-income tenants. Other work includes the expansion of the parking area, adjustment of the storm drainage system and site grading.

This project also will go before the City Planning & Development Committee on Tuesday.

-- Approval with modifications on a referral for a special use permit submitted by Martin Rivers for a motor vehicle repair shop within a commercial district at 5278 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, (on the property of R&D Electronics).

Planners require that the owner make sure that signage complies with zoning regulations and that storage and disposal of waste oils are consistent with state and federal laws.

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Clarification: In the sixth paragraph, Randy Fancher said he was in the "construction business."

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