ECIDA approves tax incentives to aid pair of industrial projects

May 16, 2011 Updated May 16, 2011 at 11:41 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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ECIDA approves tax incentives to aid pair of industrial projects

May 16, 2011 Updated May 16, 2011 at 11:41 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- The Erie County Industrial Development Agency on Monday approved $1.7 million in tax abatements to aid two major industrial expansion projects in Cheektowaga and Buffalo.

Niagara Transformer Corporation was approved for a $1.44 million package of property, sales and mortgage recording tax inducements to assist its $8 million project. The 81-year-old local company plans to construct a new 24,000-square-foot facility to accommodate the manufacture of large-scale, high-voltage transformers. The ability to make the bigger, more powerful transformers will allow Niagara Transformer to supply a broader market of clients, including utility companies.

The third-generation business, located at 1755 Dale Road, will also leverage the tax incentives to outfit the new plant with two 75-ton cranes. The expanded manufacturing capacity will also increase Niagara Transformers’ workforce from 66 to 80 employees over the next two years.

The ECIDA also approved a $324,000 sales tax abatement package for Buffalo’s Rich Products Corporation. The Buffalo-based global foods company is planning a $4 million upgrade of its Niagara Street headquarters which will include roofing, electrical and HVAC improvements, and expansion of its research and development, product-testing and product presentation areas.

Rich Products employs 643 full-time and 69 part-time staffers at its One Robert Rich Way headquarters, anchoring a world-wide network of manufacturing facilities that employ more than 7,200 workers.

The agency board also approved the sale of $195 million in bonds to continue Buffalo’s Joint Schools Construction Board school modernization program. The school expansion and rehabilitation program, which began in 2002, will see some 80 Buffalo public schools receive upgrades totaling $1.4 billion.

The ECIDA also passed a special resolution allowing Lco. Building LLC to lease its newly-rehabbed “U Building,” located at 239 Van Rensselaer St., to First Niagara Financial Group. The Buffalo-based bank, which is headquarted in the adjacent Larkin Building, will lease 54,000-square-feet in the former industrial building.

First Niagara will move 180 employees from three different sites to the historic building in July. Lco. Building LLC is investing $8.4 million to turn the circa-1893, former D. Ullman & Sons plant, into Class-A office space. The ECIDA previously approved $2.1 million in tax abatements to aid the adaptive reuse project.

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