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Battery Point site for sale

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford The site of the Battery Point Villas project sits overgrown this week. Despite much fanfare in 2018, the apartment complex project never went beyond an initial site clearing. Now, the project developers want to sell the plot.

The Battery Point Villas project in Dunkirk is apparently off, at least in its current form.

The property is for sale and a potential buyer is in negotiations for it, Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas said last week. He told the OBSERVER that the possible new owner wants to significantly alter, or entirely change, the plan for the site.

The original site plan by Erie Land Development, LLC, was approved for 12 eight-unit luxury apartments at the property, near Athenex on Route 5, in 2018. Demolition of structures and tree removal occurred later that year.

Nothing has happened there since.

There was an announcement in December 2019 that construction would begin in the spring. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic halted those plans.

It didn’t help that the Athenex plant hasn’t opened, as the company works on regulatory issues with a cancer drug it hopes to produce at the site. Officials counted on Athenex employees as a major source of tenants for the new apartment complex.

Erie Land Development, the Battery Point Villas developer, also owns the parcel, according to a check of the Chautauqua County Planning Department’s online mapping software.

Rosas said there are actually several different developers interested in buying the parcel. However, one potential new owner has apparently come to the fore.

The mayor said he held a “fruitful meeting” last week with the current owners, representatives of the potential new owners, new city Planning and Development Department Director Vince DeJoy and the department’s deputy director, EJ Hayes.

The potential new owner/developers of the site are looking at two other places for their plans, Rosas said. “This will be a competitive process,” he said.

The possible owners wanted to meet with Dunkirk officials to make sure the city would not stop their plans. Rosas said they were told the city would support them and they could go ahead if they bought the property.

Asked for specifics on the proposed plans, the mayor demurred. “I’m not at liberty to discuss any particular details because they are in negotiations,” he said.

Rosas did disclose that the possible buyer of the Battery Point site is also considering a purchase of the city-owned lot that borders it to the west.

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