CPA firm to anchor new $3M McGuire project

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 7:14 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 7:14 AM EDT

Construction on the newest multi-tenant office building in Amherst is expected to start within the next few weeks after developers received an incentive package deemed critical for the project moving forward.

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency during its April 20 meeting, approved an incentive package for 6325 Main St. Associates Ltd., an affiliate of McGuire Development Co., that will help finance the construction of a 15,000-square-foot office building that will be nestled between Erie Community College's North Campus and the under-construction new YMCA branch.

The project carries a $3 million development price tag.

Anchoring the building will be the CPA firm of Symkowiak & Associates, which has agreed to lease 7,200 square feet. The firm specializes in multi-national businesses who clients include the publicly-traded, German-based Aurubis AG, which last year acquired the American Brass plant in Buffalo. Other clients include former American Brass owners, Luvata and Outokumpo.

Symkowiak & Associates, which has 20 employees, currently leases 3,700 square feet on International Drive in Amherst.

"We are being squeezed," Dennis Symkowiak said.

McGuire acquired the 1.5-acre parcel from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, paying $250,000. The property once housed the Newman Center and a historic 1800s-era barn that McGuire paid to relocate to the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Center, formerly the Amherst Museum.

McGuire has invested approximately $416,000 in renovating the land and moving the barn as a prelude to starting construction, said Jeff Lehrbach, McGuire vice president and chief financial officer.

"There is very limited access for these types of sites in Amherst anymore," said James Dentinger, McGuire president.

Symkowiak said his firm may add five new workers once it moves into the new building.

The property, because it was owned by the Diocese, was tax-exempt and generated just $547 annually in town, county and Williamsville School District taxes last year. Even with the incentives, during the seven-year abatement period, it will now generate an estimated $161,695 in new taxes.

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