Uniland tax breaks come up for final vote this morning

December 16, 2013 Updated Dec 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

...

Uniland tax breaks come up for final vote this morning

December 16, 2013 Updated Dec 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM EDT


The final -- and decisive vote -- on a series of tax breaks for a proposed Uniland Development Co. office building in downtown Buffalo will take place this morning.

That's when the directors of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency will vote on whether to approve the nearly $8 million in sales and mortgage-recording tax breaks Uniland says it needs for the planned 12-story building at the corner of Chippewa Street and Delaware Avenue. The directors are slated to meet at 9 a.m. in the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library's Damon Auditorium.

The tax breaks, which cover the Class A office portion of the nearly 500,000-square-foot project, have triggered local debate and created an economic-development soap opera for the ECIDA, Uniland and the building's anchor office tenant, Delaware North Cos.

Still, two weeks ago, the ECIDA's policy committee voted to approve the incentives by an 11-2 count.

Uniland's building includes 200,000 square feet of Class A office space -- with Delaware North agreeing to lease at least 110,000 square feet and perhaps use more for future expansion. Delaware North will use the space for its corporate and global headquarters.

Delaware North, which employs 350 in its Key Center headquarters, has pledged to create at least 65 jobs with its move to the Uniland building. The company's current lease at Key Center expires in 2015.

Besides the office space, the project includes a 120-room hotel that Delaware North will use as a training center for its hospitality and tourism division.

Some first-floor retail and restaurant space is also planned as is a four-story garage for Delaware North employees and hotel guests.

In addition to the Uniland vote, the ECIDA directors are also expected to formally approve a contract for its new president/CEO, Steven Weathers, who is coming to Buffalo from World Trade Center San Diego.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.