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Local Investments in Manufacturing and Housing Projects Totaling Nearly $27 Million Gain Financial Backing from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency

May 10, 2010 - Buffalo, NY - A steel galvanizing operation, a major food producer, and an effort to covert a former church to housing all gained approval for incentives from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency board Monday.

In the largest of the projects, Galvstar, LLC will revive the idle American Axle plant, at 1001 East Delavan Ave., in Buffalo, to a state-of-the-art steel galvanizing facility.  The new $23.8 million operation will have the capacity to produce 180,000 tons of coated steel annually for use in a variety of construction materials and consumer products.

The ECIDA board approved $238,500 in mortgage tax breaks, plus $43,750 in sales tax savings for the massive project.

The ECIDA incentives are the first piece of a complex financing puzzle sought by Galvstar owners/investors that hinges on also obtaining more than $18 million in federally-backed Recovery Zone Bonds.

The company expects 99 percent of its coated steel to be sold to users outside of Western New York, with approximately 50 percent of the product entering the Canadian market.

The retooled plant, which will utilize some 120,000-square-feet of the former American Axle site, will create 50 new jobs over the next two years, with the workforce ballooning to more than 300 within five years.

The ECIDA also approved a $1.36 million incentive package for Goya Foods, Inc., to boost ‘bean soaking' capacity at the company's Angola plant.  Goya, which produces some 1,600 food products marketed primarily to Hispanic customers worldwide, will add 20 new jobs when its enhanced bean line is up and running.

Goya recently invested some $14 million in an expanded distribution center at the Angola site.

The board also approved a $78,000 tax abatement package for a group looking to convert the former North Park Presbyterian Church, at 700 Parkside Ave., in Buffalo, to a 12-unit apartment complex.  Creative Structures Services, Inc. will also create 6,000-square-feet of office space in the former church and adjacent classroom building.

The adaptive reuse project carries a $1.73 million price tag.

A popular local ice cream company also got a treat from the development agency on Monday.  Nick Charlap's Ice Cream, Inc., a Southtowns ice cream maker known for its small batch desserts, was granted a $35,000 Micro Loan to help it boost production.

The company, which operates a manufacturing operation and retail outlet on Boston State Road in the Town of Hamburg, and a retail-only site on Euclid Avenue, in the Village of Hamburg, will use the funds to purchase new mixing/filling gear.  The equipment will allow the ice cream company to significantly increase its batch volume and expand into the wholesale market.

The family-run business, known for its creamy cones and thick shakes, opened in 1962.