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Erie County Industrial Development Agency Approves Incentives Totaling Nearly $738,000 to Fuel $21.7 Million in Business Investments

Monday, December 13, 2010 - The Erie County Industrial Development Agency today approved tax inducement packages for four local projects to support $21.7 million in new investment.

A $12 million effort by Seneca Larkin 701, LLC to overhaul a turn-of-the-century industrial complex was awarded $340,000 in sales and mortgage recording tax abatements.  The Seneca Street site, which began life as a Larkin Soap Co. manufacturing plant, totals some 1.3 million square feet across eight structures. 

The project will   include updating building facades, as well as converting nearly half the space to Class A and Class B offices.  The remainder of the building will continue as commercial and light industrial "incubator" space.  Currently, 55 percent of the building is occupied. 

Also today, the ECIDA's Industrial Land Development Corporation (ILDC) approved sale of up to $8 million in federacl Recovery Zone bonds to support the massive adaptive reuse project.  The phased project, which is expected to take five to seven years, could add up to $50 million in investment. 

The ECIDA also approved a $221,000 tax abatement package to assist Sonwil, Inc. in the purchase and renovation of the former Motorola plant in Elma.  Sonwil's 611 Jamison Road, LLC, plans to spend $7.7 million to utilize most of the 211,000 square-foot facility for its own logistics operations.

The agency board also approved $42,000 in tax inducements for Gordon Companies, Inc., an internet fulfillment company specializing in holiday items.  Gordon Companies will invest $1.6 million to purchase the former Perfect Fit Glove plant, 85 Innsbruck Drive, in Cheektowaga.  The company currently operates in leased space on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga.

Gordon projects it will increase its workforce from 38 to 48 full-time employees, and part-time staff from 41 to 61, as a result of the relocation and expansion. 

North Star Supply was also granted a $133,999 tax abatement package to support expansion of its business at 55 Thielman Drive, in Buffalo.  North Star, a wholesale distributor of heating, air conditioning and sheet metal supplies, plans a $451,000 warehouse construction project. 

The ECIDA approved a special resolution waiving the 60-day notice for Duke Realty Corp. to sell the BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York/HealthNow headquarters building at 257 West Genesee Street in downtown Buffalo.  Phoenix-based Cole Real Estate is purchasing the three-year-old office building and will retain the health insurance provider as the sole tenant.

The ILDC also approved $15.3 million in tax exempt financing for Lackawanna's Baker Victory Services for construction of a new residential facility.  The new building, to be located at 150 Martin Road, Lackawanna, will replace three outdated Baker Hall residences.