Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 5, 2013

Business growth in the works

By Joyce M. Miles
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Diversified Manufacturing Inc. is planning expansion of its facility and workforce at 410 Ohio St.

The city planning board on Monday approved the company’s expansion site plan, which calls for a 37,000-square-foot addition on the south side of the existing facility and construction of a new parking area and entrance.

DMI, a steel fabrication company, wants to “consolidate” holdings by bringing work here from Amherst, according to engineering consultant Tim Arlington. Approximately 40 employees would relocate to Lockport and join DMI’s existing workforce of 50, he said.

DMI owner Brian Costello was not available to comment on the business plan Monday. The company is aiming to get construction started in March and the addition outfitted within five months, according to Arlington.

In other business, the planning board:

• Approved physical expansion of 79-81 Canal St., for Lake Effect Ice Cream.

Co-owners Erik Bernardi and Jason Wulf bought the building from the City of Lockport this past fall. Their proposed 450 square foot addition, at the rear of 79 Canal, will house a walk-in freezer for storing artisan ice cream as it’s made on the site.

The business is relocating from rented quarters around the corner on Lock Street, after experiencing rapid growth in four years. Presently Lake Effect is producing ice cream daily, in more than a dozen flavors, for vendors including Tops Markets, Premiere Foods, Niagara County Produce, the Lexington Cooperative in Buffalo and, now, Wegman’s.

Lake Effect is aiming to have a new production “kitchen” up and running, and a full-service ice cream parlor open, on Canal Street by early May, Bernardi said.

The addition will be faced using materials from the existing building that would otherwise have been covered up, according to Bernardi.

• Approved Hydraulic Race Company Inc.’s site plan for a “ticket booth” at 5 Gooding St., north of the Pine Street bridge.

New, permanent headquarters for the Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride tour will consist of a 24-by-32-foot building with an attached rear covered deck overlooking the Flight of Five canal locks area, and an attached pavilion that co-owner Clancy Burkwit said will serve as a visitor center.

Hydraulic Race bought the property from the Dale Association, which used it as a parking lot. Burkwit said some asphalt will be taken up and replaced with sod/grass and landscaping.

Construction should start this week, according to co-owner Tom Callahan.

• Approved subdivision of Ulrich City Centre, 80 and 82 Main St. and 175 Walnut St., to separate the parking lot from the rest of the retail/office complex. City Centre and the City of Lockport have entered into an agreement by which the city will hold the title to the parking lot only, and will have guaranteed access to it, while City Centre maintains it for tenants. The city is taking back the parking lot because there is known contamination beneath.