State acquires former nursing home for Peace Bridge expansion

Aug 24, 2012

Five years after closing its doors in anticipation of a new Peace Bridge, the Episcopal Church Home has a buyer. 

New York Lt. Governor Robert Duffy told reporters in Buffalo today the state has acquired the seven-acre property in the shadow of the Peace Bridge to help move the plaza expansion project forward.  

The home closed in 2007 due to a decline in business over concerns about a new bridge. Duffy says the purchase is "the last piece that will get the project going."

"It will eliminate 80% of the congestion at the bridge crossing for about 10% of the cost," Duffy said.

Duffy says the state is paying just over $5 million for the former nursing home on Rhode Island Street.  He says the next step is to move toward demolition.

"There's going to be analysis of the environmental issues that have to be resolved. We're not sure the scope of that yet. A lot of work has been done. We're going to be working with federal EPA and also our DEC in the state. The hope is that as soon as we possibly can to start taking down that eyesore, putting people to work, and opening up this plaza," Duffy said.

Episcopal Church Home President and CEO Rob Wallace says he is elated that after nearly two decades of "being handcuffed," there has been a successful resolution to the issue.