Community Forum on Riverbend

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 12:29 AM EDT

By WKBW Admin

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 12:29 AM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) A packed room of interested community members, all on hand to hear a presentation about Riverbend, the clean, high-tech manufacturing plant in the works along the Buffalo River. Christina Orsi of the Empire State Development Corporation led that discussion.

"This is the largest investment of the Buffalo Billion so far, $225 million. This is really going to be a catalyst for future green energy manufacturing technology," Orsi said.

The Governor made the first announcement back in November, that two Silicon Valley companies will locate plants on an old brownfield industrial site on South Park Avenue, and adding about 12-hundred jobs. Tuesday night Orsi updated the community on progress.

"So really we're in the roll up our sleeves and get it done. Get the buildings up and built and get the companies here and operating," she said.

That is good news to members of the Sierra Club, concerned with clean energy and climate change. It is also important to Bill Nowak, who hosted the forum.

"We think it is a great step forward. Obviously the devil's in the details but we think it's a wonderful idea. Many of us have been calling for a long time for the local economy to embrace clean energy as an important sector. We think it's a sector that's going to grow and we think it is a sector that has to grow," Nowak said.

The goal is start construction on Riverbend in the next six months and be up and running by June of 2015.