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THE ERIE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVED TAX ABATEMENTS FOR TWO ORCHARD PARK INDUSTRIAL EXPANSIONS AND THE ADAPTIVE REUSE OF A HIGH-PROFILE, VACANT BUFFALO BUILDING,

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May 20, 2013                                                                                                        

Sharon Linstedt

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 THE ERIE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVED TAX ABATEMENTS FOR TWO ORCHARD PARK INDUSTRIAL EXPANSIONS AND THE ADAPTIVE REUSE OF A HIGH-PROFILE, VACANT BUFFALO BUILDING,

 SPURRING $24 MILLION IN INVESTMENT

The board also announced the resignation of its chairman,

Former Congressman John J. LaFalce

 

Buffalo, NY - The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) today approved $2.19 million in tax abatements to aid three projects with a total investment value of just over $24 million. The tax relief will support two Orchard Park manufacturing companies and transformation of a nearly century-old Buffalo industrial building to a modern mix-used facility.

 

McGard, Inc., a global supplier of security products, will receive $1.2 million in property, sales and mortgage recording tax inducements to complete an $8.25 million expansion of its headquarters and plant at 3875 California Road, in Orchard Park.  The company, which employs 457, expects to add another 23 staffers when the expansion is complete.

 

McGard, which currently operates out of a 185,000-square-foot facility, will add another 69,600-square-foot addition to accommodate its fast-growing manufacturing activities.

 

The company makes wheel locks and chrome plated lug nuts which are sold to the automotive industry, government agencies and municipalities across North America, as well as in Europe and Japan.

 

Another California Road company, Automated Machine Technologies, Inc., also received aid from the ECIDA Monday for a nearly $1 million plan to construct a new facility.  Automated Machine, which provide engineering, design and specialty tooling machines to a variety of industries, will build an 8,000-square-foot plant and office complex on a vacant parcel of land at 3625 California Road.  The company will move from a smaller, leased facility, at 3626 California Road and increase its staff from three to five.

 

Automated Machine was approved for $156,000 in tax abatements to support its expansion.

 

The ECIDA board also gave unanimous support for Ellicott Development's plan to overhaul the long-vacant Fairmont Creamery Co. building at 199 Scott St., in downtown Buffalo.  Built in 1920, the eight-story structure was most recently used by the Arctic Freezer Company for storage as a refrigerated storage site for Rich Product Corp.  It has sat idle for the past two decades.

 

Easily seen from the I-190, the building still has the "Coffee Rich" logo painted on one side. The 5277 Group, a subsidiary of Ellicott Development, plans a $14.6 million renovation which includes a new roof, windows and a complete interior makeover.

 

The refurbished building will house a mix of apartments, office space, restaurant/banquet facilities, common space and a basement brewery.  The 5277 Group received $834,000 in tax abatements for the adaptive reuse effort.

 

In other action, the ECIDA announced former Congressman John LaFalce has resigned at the agency's Chairman of the Board. ECIDA board members were notified Friday evening that Mr. LaFalce was departing the board "effective immediately."

 

The former congressman, who served from 1975 to 2007, was appointed to the board by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, March 2012 and elected ECIDA Board Chair in April.

 

As a respected figure in the local and national political landscape for over three decades (in fact, he was named one of the "smartest" Members of Congress, and in April 2010 was named one of Buffalo's leading celebrities), Buffalo native Congressman LaFalce graduated from Canisius High School, Canisius College and Villanova University School of Law. Mr. LaFalce has been Special Counsel to the HoganWillig law firm, since 2007.

 

Board Vice Chair Chris Johnston, President, World Trade CenterBuffalo Niagara, led Monday's meeting.  A formal vote will be taken at the board's next annual meeting to elect a new chairman to officially fill Mr. LaFalce's seat and realign the board's officers.

 

The board also took the rare action of voting against the continuation of tax abatements tied to Arrowhead Golf Club in Akron.  Joseph J. Frey received $540,906 in abatements to construct the then-private, 18-hole course in 2002. Frey, who faces foreclosure of what is now a public golf course, is seeking to transfer title of the property and the benefits to an entity tied to mortgage holder, Mulligan Capital, LLC.

 

Frey would have received nearly $200,000 in property tax abatements if he had continued to operate the facility through the full term of the abatements, which end in 2020.

 

The board also voted to hire Charlotte, North Carolina-based executive search firm, Jorgenson Consulting, Inc., to find candidates to become the ECIDA's new CEO and COO.  That position is being vacated by Al Culliton, who plans to retire by the end of this year.