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Uniland will pay for damages caused by construction debris | News

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Uniland will pay for damages caused by construction debris

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The mystery debris floating around part of Downtown Buffalo is a mystery no more. The cement, insulation and fireproofing material is falling from the Uniland project that will house the headquarters of Delaware North.

Neighbors who live in the apartment building next to the construction site on Delaware Avenue say the debris has fallen onto their cars, and the cement can't be cleaned.

"It won't come off," Midge Fournier, building manager at Touraine Apartments, said. "It's permanent."

Workers at Delta Sonic were able to clean some of the debris off her car but wrote on her receipt, "We cannot handle cement on vehicles."

Midge also worries about air quality and says her tenants can't open their windows.

"We're concerned about the safety and health of the tenants and us," she said. " We don't know what's blowing or what we're breathing in."

Jill Pawlik, a spokesperson for Uniland, said the only thing floating around now is fireproofing material, which she said is not hazardous to people below. She said Uniland will cover the cost of repairing damage caused by the cement falling onto cars.

"Uniland is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of its site workers, delivery personnel, neighbors and pedestrians as we construct a 12-story mixed-use facility in the central business district of Buffalo," Pawlik said in a statement.

Corey Waltz, maintenance supervisor at Touraine Apartments, said another concern is what happened to his rooftop. Uniland confirms a construction tarp got loose on a Sunday when no workers were on site, and it wrapped around the ornate stone pillars along the roof causing it to fall over the break.

"Luckily it fell onto our roof and not down onto Delaware Avenue," Waltz said.

Pawlik said it would be impossible for the stone, which may weigh up to 1,000 lbs., to fall onto the street due to the angle and length of the tarp and how it wrapped around the pillar. Uniland will pay for damages.

Pawlik said the Delaware North project is very large in scale -- 12 stories, 330,000 square feet and $110 million -- and will naturally cause disruptions, but she said Uniland is working diligently to keep those inconveniences to a minimum.

"We have had an excellent working relationship with the neighbors, and we ask for their patience as we continue this project," Pawlik said.

Anyone who has experienced damages from the site should call Uniland's headquarters at 716-834-5000 or speak to a supervisor on site. If Uniland is responsible for the damage, Pawlik said the company will pay for repairs.

A spokesperson for Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the City has received one official complaint about falling debris from the construction site. It's unclear if City inspectors came to the site to check it out.

Both Midge and Corey said they look forward to the finished project and want to be good neighbors.

"I think it's a great thing," Corey said. "It's great for the economy. I love to see Buffalo blooming like it is. This building is going to be beautiful when it's done."


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