Weekly Feature

2017-01-25 / Local News

Mensch still seeking community input

According to officials from Mensch Capital Partners, the firm is interested in knowing what residents think of the approximately $250 million proposal to redevelop the former Westwood Country Club property.

Mensch representatives said in a press release that the redevelopment would transform the property into something Western New York has never seen: an innovative traditional neighborhood with plenty of recreational green space, a variety of housing and a neighborhood center.

“We have heard residents say they want the property cleaned up,” said Andrew Shaevel, Mensch managing partner. “Westwood has been designated a brownfield. Before anything can happen with the site, it needs to be properly remediated. Only then can it be transformed into an economic development opportunity that will generate millions of dollars of new tax base and revenues for Amherst, Williamsville Schools, Erie County and New York State.”

According to the press release, Shaevel said Mensch has been “working diligently to address concerns and suggestions voiced by both the neighbors and the many town departments that have reviewed the plan.

“We have also received many letters from neighbors who support the project and we are enthused that there are so many town residents who are looking forward to the new Westwood becoming reality,” he said.

Shaevel said the original redevelopment plan has been modified to incorporate many of the suggestions, including:

Permanent open space and an extensive trail network have been increased from 38 percent to 47 percent of the site, including a 39-acre public park.

Sanitary system improvements in the updated plan feature a new force main sewer along Maple Road, which ties into the town sewer system in the area of Maple Road and Amherst Manor. The plan also calls for upsizing the Amherst Manor line from an existing 15-inch to a new 21-inch line to service the proposed project and future growth planned around the Northtown Center.

• Recommendations from the Amherst Traffic Safety Board, Planning Department and Engineering Department have been implemented to include a new roundabout on North Forest Road; one-way in-only connection from Frankhauser Road; conversion of the existing traffic signal to a stop sign at Frankhauser Road; improvements to the Sheridan Drive/North Forest Road intersection; an improved right-turn lane onto Sheridan, and improved intersection function and grass medians on Sheridan. According to Shaevel, all of the updates will improve the traffic situation in the Westwood neighborhood.

“What they won’t solve are the myriad accidents on Sheridan and North Forest that are caused by distracted driving,” he said.

Shaevel added that the infrastructure improvements will be paid for by Mensch, not taxpayers. He said town engineers say they expect these improvements will be able to accommodate all sewage from the new development and will also solve current downstream capacity issues.

“Additional improvements to the Westwood plan call for the relocation of the senior living facility, a response to neighbor concern regarding its proximity to homes on Fairways Boulevard,” Shaevel said. “ It has been relocated to the corner of Sheridan Drive and North Forest Road and integrated into the Neighborhood Center.”

Shaevel added that single family homes will replace the former location of the senior living facility and townhomes have been relocated along Frankhauser Road, providing a buffer between parking lots and current Frankhauser homes.

According to the press release, multifamily housing will now be in the center of the site, and land has been allocated for a new fire substation for the Snyder Fire District, should one be deemed necessary in the future. Further information is available at www.WestwoodAmherst.com.

Return to top