Cuomo: Athenex project still on track

Posted at 11:34 AM, Sep 07, 2016

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Athenex project, which the state has touted as being a game changer for Western New York, is still on track to bring 1,400 jobs to Buffalo and Dunkirk.

"Howard Zemsky is taking control of that project," Cuomo said. "He is the best and we're very excited about that."

Zemsky is president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation, the agency that took a lead role in the project after The Buffalo News reported last week that the pharmaceutical company may be thinking twice about its commitment to the region and could actually be taking its business elsewhere.

"The state remains strongly committed to ensuring both Athenex projects come to fruition... and we are optimistic that they will move forward in an efficient and timely manner," the state said last week.

The governor's comments about Athenex came on the same day he toured the RiverBend site in South Buffalo, where another major economic development project - SolarCity - is underway. The solar panel manufacturer is building a $200 million factory that is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to the area.

About a hundred construction workers now working at RiverBend joined the governor as he toured the site Wednesday.

Representatives from SolarCity say the facility is set to be completed on time and on budget, with production of panels beginning in the second quarter of 2017.