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ERIE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY BACKS ADAPTIVE REUSE AND INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION PROJECTS TOTALING $8.9 MILLION WITH $520,000 IN TAX ABATEMENTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 21, 2013                                           

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Sharon Linstedt

TraversCollins  

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 slinstedt@traverscollins.com

 

ERIE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY BACKS ADAPTIVE REUSE AND INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION PROJECTS TOTALING $8.9 MILLION WITH $520,000 IN TAX ABATEMENTS

ECIDA board also approves a $2.82 million 2014 budget

 

Buffalo, NY - The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) today approved tax abatement packages to assist Upstate Niagara Cooperative expand production of Greek-style yogurt in West Seneca, while also helping to bring a landmark building in downtown Buffalo back to life.

The board approved $265,000 in property and sales tax abatements for Upstate Niagara Cooperative to construct a $2.9 million expansion of its facility at 3300 North America Drive in West Seneca to house a state-of-the-art "chill tunnel" used in production of strained Greek-style yogurt.

Upgrading the chilling process will retain 175 jobs at the Erie County dairy plant which produces the increasingly-popular yogurt product.

The 8,600-square-foot physical expansion of the facility, plus installation of the new production equipment, will cost $2.9 million.

The ECIDA also approved $255,000 in sales and mortgage tax abatements to aid the adaptive reuse of a crumbling, circa 1880s carriage repair facility on Main Street in downtown Buffalo into market rate apartments and ground floor commercial space.

BOSCHE LLC, an entity tied to Greenleaf & Company, a Buffalo property management, construction and development firm, plans a $5.8 million overhaul of the four-story building, located at 916-918 Main Street.  Plans call for the long-vacant structure to be redone into a 23-unit apartment building serve the growing housing needs of the adjacent Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The building, located in the Allentown Historic Preservation District, and is viewed as a key structure in efforts to rehabilitate the 900-block of Main Street.

The ECIDA board also approved a request from HealthNow to sublease 28,000-square-feet of space at its 257 W. Genesee St. headquarters to URS Corporation.

The engineering company will move its 110 employees from the former M. Wile Building at 77 Goodell St. in the first quarter of 2014.  URS's lease with the University of Buffalo for the Goodell Street space runs through September 2014, but UB has requested the firm move as soon as possible to make room for university-related tenants.

HealthNow, which does business locally as BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, is required to secure the ECIDA's approval to bring in tenants as part of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement it entered into with the agency for construction of its $129.2 million facility in 2005.

The health care plan provider was previously allowed to sublet 3,200-square-feet of space to CBRE, the firm which manages the nearly 1 million-square-foot facility.

The ECIDA board also approved the agency's proposed 2014 budget which was unveiled at its September monthly session. The budget, which totals $2.82 million. The current year's budget totals $2.7 million.

The budget, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, includes a conservative approach to agency administrative fee revenue, budgeting for 35 percent less in administrative fees, the agency's chief source of revenues. The budget calls for project revenues of $1.65 million, down from $2 million in the current year.

2013 revenues are the highest the agency has earned in several years due to major projects such as the HARBORcenter at Canalside and the Conventus building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, as well as rehabilitation of the Richardson Complex  and Tishman Building.

The 2014 budget shows revenue projections significantly less than 2013, but are in line with the Agency's 10 year average revenue results.

The ECIDA also budgeted for venture investment reflow at $500,000 significantly lower than the $1.5 million from 2013 volatile nature of those revenues.

In 2014, salaries and benefits for ECIDA staffers will increase by four percent, from $1.76 million to $1.8 million. A large part of that increase will be driven by the hiring of a new CEO and rising health insurance costs.