The University at Buffalo is using the Start-Up NY program to fill up empty space in its downtown Gateway Building.
Five companies have announced plans to relocate into the Gateway Building over the past two months. They've pledged a collective 157 jobs over the next five years. Three of those businesses are graduating from Z80 Labs Inc., a tech-based incubator in downtown Buffalo, including ClearView Social, which expects to create 47 jobs, CoachMePlus, which projects 25 new jobs and Decision Pace, which says it will create 49 jobs.
The other two companies include Clinical Support Services Inc., which is relocating from Larkinville and expects to create 16 net new jobs, and IFYE Association of the USA Inc., which was recruited from Colorado and expects to create 10 jobs.
In all, the Gateway Building has 65,310 square feet of space designated for Start-Up NY, nearly a third of its footprint. The university purchased the building, formerly M. Wile & Company Factory Building, in 2007 and has made it an important part of its ever-expanding downtown footprint. It is connected to the $26 million Educational Opportunity Center, a new building that opened in 2013. UB has a variety of offices in the building, including its Regional Institute and Millard Fillmore College. The Buffalo Employment and Training Center, UBMD office space and URS Corp. all have offices there.
The building is directly across from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where six other UB-sponsored companies have been approved by Start-Up NY.
"Our strategy for that building includes offering that space for companies with basic office/IT requirements and minimal build-out," said Karen Utz, director of program administration in UB's Office of Economic Development.
Utz said UB works with Start-Up NY companies where there is the possibility of expansion from their initial location, and said some companies may outgrow UB's capacity in the Gateway Building. At that point, UB will work to find an alternate approved zone. UB has already altered its list of approved sites once and Utz said may do so again.
ClearView Social's founder, Adrian Dayton, has said UB expects roughly market rates from Start-Up companies relocating into the Gateway Building, and is likely to charge the company $16 to $17 per square foot with minimal buildout. ClearView will likely start out with about 2,000 square feet, but made sure there's enough space to grow to 5,000 square feet.
"If we grow bigger than that, the Gateway Building has a ton of unused space right now," Dayton said. "It's good because UB doesn't have that much space at other facilities. They're pretty full."