M&T to shift its data center within Amherst

March 11, 2014 Updated Mar 11, 2014 at 9:37 AM EDT

By Allissa Kline, Buffalo Business First

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M&T to shift its data center within Amherst

March 11, 2014 Updated Mar 11, 2014 at 9:37 AM EDT

M&T Bank plans to relocate its Amherst data center later this year, shifting 40 existing employees from Commerce Drive to Park Club Lane, according to a bank spokesperson.

There is no set timeline for the move, which was first announced in mid-2011 when M&T said it would buy the nearly 60,000-square-foot building at 191 Park Club Lane from HSBC Bank USA N.A. and convert it into M&T's primary data center. HSBC used the space for similar purposes, but sold it during the company's cost-cutting initiative.

M&T initially said the move would take place in 2012. But it was delayed because the bank decided to complete a back-up data center in Delaware first and then needed more time for engineering work at the local building, spokesperson Chet Bridger said.

"This (building) will have more storage and computing capacity," Bridger said. "It will be a bigger data center to handle a larger bank and it gives us room for growth."

Right now, M&T's main data center is located at 626 Commerce Drive in Amherst. When the 40 employees move over to the new Park Club Lane site, M&T plans to renovate about 15,000 square feet in the Commerce Drive facility into additional office space and add about 75 workers in different departments in that building, Bridger said.

Those 75 additional jobs - primarily in information technology and banking operations - will be created as the bank adds new functions at Commerce Drive, Bridger said.

In total, renovations and upgrades at both facilities are expected to total $105 million over a 10-year period, Bridger said. M&T chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers, in his annual message to shareholders released late last week, said the bank has invested roughly $60 million in the two data centers during the past three years in order to meet current business demands and strengthen its back-up systems in case of disasters.

He characterized the new site as a "state-of-the-art data center" capable of housing "terabytes of data equivalent of 400 times the books houses in the Library of Congress."

M&T is the largest deposit-holder in Western New York as of June 30, 2012. Wilmers said the Buffalo-based company grew its local workforce by 938 jobs in the past year.

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