ECIDA Approves $2.8 Million in Incentives to Assist Pair of Local Projects

July 18, 2011 Updated Jul 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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ECIDA Approves $2.8 Million in Incentives to Assist Pair of Local Projects

July 18, 2011 Updated Jul 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- The Erie County Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors on Monday approved tax incentive packages for two local projects that will support residential and manufacturing and hospitality ventures.

The ECIDA board gave its nod to a $2.6 million mix of property, sales and mortgage recording tax savings to aid conversion of an historic property at 2915 Main Street in Buffalo to 87 market rate loft-style apartments. Ciminelli Real Estate plans to invest $15.5 million in the project to revitalize the long-vacant site as Bethune Lofts.

Built as the Buffalo Meter Company in 1915, the building, located near the South campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo, was renamed Bethune Hall in 1973, and housed the UB School of Architecture and Design. Its name-sake was Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first professional female architect in the U.S. and designer of the Lafayette Hotel.

The building and its 2.3 acre site will house a mix of luxury one- and two-bedroom loft apartments, with an on-site fitness center.

The board also aided a Canadian company, Future Mobility Products, Inc., with plans to establish U.S. operations in a vacant industrial facility at One Buffalo River Place, in Buffalo.

The Mississauga, Ontario maker of innovative wheelchairs, walkers and related products for mobility-challenged individuals, plans to invest $2 million in the 106,000-square-foot building to make physical upgrades and equip the new plant. Future Mobility, which received $90,000 in tax abatements, expects to create 16 new jobs over the next two years.

ECIDA members deferred action on a request for $130,000 in tax abatements for two Ellicott Street restaurant projects proposed by developer Rocco Termini in conjunction with management of the Pearl Street Brew Pub.

The Termini partnership wants to convert the Golden Swan Café and Grille, at 437 Ellicott St., to an affordable Italian, family-style eatery.
The Termini team also plans to turn the former Horton Coffee Co. building, at 338 Ellicott St., into a reasonably-priced family restaurant. That structure has been empty for 20 years.

Investment in the two restaurants will total $800,000 and create 10 full-time jobs when they are up and running.

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