East Hill centralizing ops in North Tonawanda

October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 7:11 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by Tracey Drury

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October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 7:11 AM EDT

East Hill Foundation held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday at the North Tonawanda site that will become its new home.

The site on Island Street just off River Road formerly housed a boatyard workshop and includes a 70 foot-high, fully-operational lighthouse, which overlooks the Niagara River.

Plans call for converting the former Island Street Boatyard into offices supporting the foundation's grants administration work, with construction slated for completion by year's end.

East Hill Foundation will move from existing offices in Williamsville and Akron. Founded in 2000 by the Greatbatch family, the foundation is not affiliated with the medical device company Greatbatch Inc.

With total assets of $20 million, the foundation last year awarded grants totaling $651,628, including support for such organizations as Meals on Wheels for WNY Inc., the Clarence Central School District, Graycliff Conservancy, the Martin House Restoration Corp. and Canisius College.

Foundation officials said the property will also be used for events and gatherings related to its efforts in the areas of art and culture, education, health and the environment.

Foundation Vice President Ami Greatbatch said the organization is looking forward to developing partnerships with the North Tonawanda community.

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