Medina takes another step in redeveloping old dry cleaner site

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – The former Starlite Dry Cleaners has been vacant on Main Street in Medina since a fire damaged the building a decade ago. Environmental concerns have been a holdup in the site’s redevelopment.

MEDINA – The village is taking another step in trying to remove obstacles for redeveloping two vacant storefronts on Main Street.

The former Starlite Dry Cleaners at 331 North Main St. has been empty since a fire in the building a decade ago. Its neighbor at 333 North Main also is vacant.

Before a redevelopment can move forward, the village will need to assess the extent of any contamination at the two buildings.

Great Lakes Environmental in Buffalo said remediating the side-by-side sites, with a partial takedown, would cost $177,000.

Addressing the environmental issues is critical for the two sites to be contributing locations to Medina’s Main Street and community, said Mayor Andrew Meier. The village plans to seek state Superfund asisstance to help with the redevelopment.

Before it can get to that step, the village needs to make the buildings safe to enter for closer inspection. The Village Board on Monday hired Marks Engineering in Palmyra at a cost not to exceed $1,495 to help with that task.

“There has been interest in both parcels, but the environmental issues have been a real buzz-kill,” Meier said at Monday’s Village Board meeting.

Marks will work as consultant with the village on the project, helping to determine demolition and removal of unstable, burned-out portions of the building. The company will evaluate demolition options, evaluate subcontractors, prepare estimated contractor fees and correspond with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“We need to determine if and what extent the contamination,” Meier said. “This will allow for the next steps.”

A previous owner stopped paying taxes at Starlite. Normally the property would then be owned by Orleans County, but the county hasn’t accepted the property due to the potential environmental liabilities.

Meier and the Village Board want to get the sites back as contributing assets for the community.

Marks will also work with the village as it deals with the DEC with potential costs for cleanup of hazardous substances and wastes at the Medina MGP site, located in the footprint of the Canal Basin parking lot west of Starlite.

The DEC has notified the village it will be expected to reimburse the state for any costs by the DEC to clean up that site. Marks will work with the village in responding with the DEC.