BUFFALO -- What was once the Central Park Plaza in Buffalo's Leroy neighborhood is now a pile of rubble. Construction crews took down the final standing piece Monday.
"It's an exciting day to see this project moving forward," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.
After years of standing vacant, LPCiminelli bought the 27-acre shopping plaza about seven months ago. A Brooklyn investment company had owned the property and ignored inspections and citations and was forced to sell.
The land is now another step closer to being turned around.
"We're hoping by the end of next year the site will be ready for redevelopment," said John Ciminelli, Sr. Vice President of LPCiminelli.
For the next year the land will undergo a brownfield cleanup, but in the meantime Ciminelli is working with residents on what will go there once compete.
Ciminelli said, "We would like to do something geared around residential development but it depends on how well and what level of clean we reach and how successful we are with our remediation plans."
Officials are hoping the project will help revitalize the entire neighborhood as well.
"Part of the plan, working with Ciminelli, will be to take down all of the structures in the Central Park neighborhood that are unsalvageable," Mayor Brown said.
Mayor Brown also said the plan will also call for repaving streets, adding lighting, and other improvements.