Name sought for new 280-acre business park in Medina/Shelby

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 September 2013 at 12:00 am

EDA favors honoring Sandstone roots with name

MEDINA – Land that the Orleans Economic Development Agency has been working on for years to make attractive to developers will soon have a name, likely connected to Orleans County roots with Medina sandstone.

The Orleans EDA is close to securing certified “shovel-ready” status for land near Route 31A and Bates Road, including a cow pasture owned by the Keppeler family. (The EDA has an option to buy the site.)

The EDA board of directors next month is expected to vote on calling the 280 acres the “Sandstone Business Park,” or something that includes “Sandstone.”

The county was once home to more than 100 Medina sandstone quarries, and that stone was shipped along the canal and used to build roads, houses and other structures all over the state and beyond New York’s borders.

The land eyed for the business park sits in Medina and also in the town of Shelby. The site is viewed as some of Orleans County’s most attractive land for wooing manufacturing and other large businesses.

The 280 acres has access to all the needed utilities and infrastructure, including low-cost hydropower. Once it has shovel-ready certification, it is expected to draw a lot of interest in the business community.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Jim Whipple, the CEO for the Orleans EDA. “It may be the largest shovel-ready site with infrastructure in Western New York.”

Whipple said the EDA may use the Sandstone name for other business parks in the future, perhaps a “Sandstone East” site because the sandstone quarries were such a dominant industry in the canal towns across Orleans.