New Life for Former Library

January 22, 2013 Updated Jan 22, 2013 at 7:22 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First

...
January 22, 2013 Updated Jan 22, 2013 at 7:22 AM EDT

Empire State Development has cleared the way for public funding on two area developments totaling $2 million.

The ESD board approved a $1.5 million grant for Unifrax I LLC to assist the company on its expansion and the acquisition and installation of new machinery and equipment at its Tonawanda facility. The project, completed in December 2012, will create 50 jobs and retain 180 jobs, officials said. The company had laid out its need for added space to ESD several years ago.

Unifrax, owned by American Security Partners, has 25 manufacturing facilities in New York, Indiana, France, India, Germany, Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

A grant of $500,000 was approved to restore the former Fairfield branch library in Buffalo, which has been vacant since 2005. A planned reconversion project, pegged at $1.5 million, will lead to office space plus two market-rate two-bedroom loft-style apartments and three market-rate one-bedroom apartments. Developers David Pawlik and Russell Kyte of Creative Structure Services Inc. paid $77,000 for the Amherst Street library. The original building was constructed as a church in 1897.

The Buffalo-area projects were part of an overall grant package of $5.5 million approved this week by ESD.

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