Major step forward on Peabody Street

City of Buffalo Moves Forward with Process for Demolition at Former Battaglia Construction Facility

Residents, elected officials and community groups hope for accountability 

The City of Buffalo is proceeding with a demolition order for the former Battaglia Demolition site located at 1037 Seneca Street in Buffalo’s Seneca-Babcock neighborhood. The City’s order follows a final notice to the property owner on July 20th, which advised the owner to remove any and all belongings from the structure so the City can proceed with the demolition process. The demolition of the neglected, trash infested and burned-out dangerous property is now imminent. 


Since the 2018 shutdown of Battaglia Demolition, the property has fallen into abandonment, with piles of concrete dust still swirling from the site through the neighborhood air. The derelict property has become a site with illegal dumping, and is now full of garbage and refuse, attracting rats.  In addition, the building Battaglia Demolition once occupied mysteriously caught fire after a 2021 settlement was reached with New York State Supreme Court. It now sits vacant, leaving residents with an eyesore and a dangerous burnt out building in their backyards.


Council Member Mitch Nowakowski said, “The owner of this neglected and dilapidated facility has proven time and again that he does not care for the people who live in the neighborhood. While legal battles played out, residents continued to suffer from the blight created here, the rodents and wildlife that have made themselves at home, and the air pollution which makes it hard to breathe. As of today, it’s official: the City has put the owner on notice that demolition is imminent. The residents here deserve better. Whoever or whatever business occupies this space in the future must operate in harmony with the people who live here.”


The demolition order for 1037 Seneca Street comes after years of organizing from community residents and members of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York. When operational, Battaglia Demolition, a waste transfer site that was illegally operating a concrete crusher, shook the foundations of residents’ homes, polluted the air with diesel particulates, and blanketed the neighborhood in silica dust, a pollutant known to cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma, lung disease and lung cancer.  


“It’s a shame that it has taken the City to step in and do what Mr. Battaglia should have done a long time ago. We have paid the price and suffered for so long and it is about time that he pays his fair share. Even though the demolition will not bring my neighbors back or fix my foundation, it is a small important step forward. I just want my neighborhood back from the trauma of the past 20 years with our very bad neighbor,” Diane Lemanski, Peabody Street Resident and member of Clean Air. 


Battaglia reached a settlement agreement with the NYS Attorney General and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 2021 under NYS Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Judge Chimes. The settlement, which has yet to be signed by Mr. Battaglia, would include the demolition of the building, clean up of the debris left on site and levvyed a $50,000 fine. The yet-to-be-signed settlement agreement is just a drop in the bucket of the potential $14 million dollar plus fines Mr. Battaglia was facing after  years of violations. 


Council Member Brian Bollman said, “Last month I stood with residents in the Seneca Babcock Community calling for the removal of the remaining structure at 1037 Seneca Street. This eyesore has burdened neighbors for far too long and must be removed properly to protect neighbors quality of life. I am pleased to see the removal is now imminent as the owner was put on notice that the demolition will be moving forward. It is imperative that the building remains are cleared safely and the future usage of this property needs to align with the goals of community members.  The Clean Air Coalition has been a valued partner in calling out this eyesore in our community”


“For too long we have exploited and abused the environment for our own personal profit. It is important to highlight those elected officials, like Councilman Nowakowski, who not only look to benefit his constituency but the land in which we are so accustomed to forgetting. I commend the councilman for his tenacity and ability to mitigate issues through the correct channels, but more importantly for being a strong voice in his community and for the environment in which it exists.”

-Assemblyman Patrick B. Burke, AD 142


Residents and community members see the City demolition as a step in the right direction after over a decade of fighting for health and justice. Once the property is cleaned up, residents and the Clean Air Coalition look forward to working with the City and other stakeholders to develop a plan for the future of the site that centers the community’s vision, wisdom and concerns. 




The Clean Air Coalition builds power by developing grassroots leaders who organize their communities to run and win environmental justice and public health campaigns in Western New York.

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