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'Project Wave' could break ground in ag park in 10 days

Construction on a food and beverage processing plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, which could some day employ as many at 600 people, might begin in 10 days.

The company planning the facility is pushing hard to get all of the permitting done to enable groundbreaking by Nov. 17.

The project -- known as Project Wave -- would initially employ 180 people.

Confidentiality agreements prevent representatives of the Genesee County Economic Development Center from revealing the name of the company purchasing the 81-acre parcel in the park or what product will be produced there.

On Monday, the Town of Batavia Planning Board, conducted a public meeting to review the potential environmental impact of the facility. Because a full environment review was completed for the ag park already, the board needed only to look at the three issues that are out of variance with what previously passed review.

On Thursday, the project will go before the Genesee County Planning Board for review. It must also yet be approved by the town's Zoning Appeals Board.

Asked if a groundbreaking on Nov. 17 was realistic, given all of the regulatory hurdles yet to be cleared, Town Engineer Steve Mountain said he didn't anticipate a problem.

"With the work they've done, with the plans they've presented, yes," Mountain said. "These guys are good."

The firm handling the planning for the unnamed company is Haskell Architects and Engineers out of Jacksonville, Fla.

The big issue for review on Monday is the height of the facility.

A refrigerated warehouse will initially be 45-feet high, but by the time the plant is at capacity (by 2033), the height will be 120 feet.

Batavia's code limits building height to 40 feet.

The facility also will include, at capacity: two tanks 77 feet high; two that are 65 feet high; and 16 that are 50 feet high.

The board found that even at these heights, the facility will have no significant visual impact on the surrounding area. The facility will still be barely visible from Route 5 or Route 63, and even the nearest residents (the Roland Circle and Haven Lane developments) won't have much of an obstructed view.

Parking is another issue that the board needed to review.

The facility will be operational at all times and employees will work in three shifts. There will be enough parking to accomodate rotation of each shift.

The town's code calls for parking spaces that are 10 x 20, but the code was intended primarily to ensure adequate parking in a retail environment.

Mountain said the requested spaces of 9 x 18 is adequate for this facility.

"By providing the smaller spaces on this project, it helps preserve some of the green space and it lowers the cost to the developer," Mountain said.

The other issue is the amount of water the facility plans to use, but Mountain said it wouldn't be a significant impact because the park was planned with more than enough capacity to meet the facility's needs.

After the meeting, Mountain cautioned that the project could still fall through.

"I've seen it happen before," Mountain said, noting that Haskell has completed all of the engineering on the site and, pending approvals, there's no reason construction can't begin on the anticipated Nov. 17 date.

Mark Masse, from GCEDC, said after the meeting that there's still no indication of when the project will be announced officially.  

Haskell's project plans show ground work being completed by Dec. 31, with final site plan review and building permits issued during the winter. Final site work and building construction would take place in the spring. Equipment installation would be completed by the fall and the plant would go into production next winter.

It would open with three production lines and grow to five production lines in the near future. The mid-term plan is 10 production lines, and the ultimate plan is 16 production lines.

Previously:

Bob Price
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Joined: Nov 15 2008
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I'm wondering if this could be possibly an ice-cream facility......

RICHARD L. HALE
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Joined: May 22 2009

I hope the Town Board or the Planning Board does what has to be done, to bring this project to fruition, and doesn't turn this into "Project Wave Good-bye"

Jack Dorf
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"The board found that even at these heights, the facility will have no significant visual impact on the surrounding area. The facility will still be barely visible from Route 5 or Route 63, and even the nearest residents (the Roland Circle and Haven Lane developments) won't have much of an obstructed view." (Its Rollin Circle)

So who on the board determined this? 120ft tall structure on basically flat land. I can see Oatka from my deck on Rollin Circle which is half as high and 4 times farther away than where this will be located. Don't get me wrong I am 100% in favor of new development but zoning codes are there for a reason and not to be pushed through as Diegleman suggest.

tim raines
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Joined: Sep 11 2009

DEAN FOODS WHITEWAVE is my bet.

kevin kretschmer
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Joined: Jan 26 2010

Dippin' Dots can be ruled out. It turns out the "ice cream of the future", isn't.

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