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Gateway II

September 4, 2021 - 11:18am

Longtime Batavia area residents surely remember George’s Dairy, the welcoming store run by the farm family on the west side of Route 98, just past the Thruway bridge heading north out of the city.

The dairy, known for its delicious chocolate milk and specialty fruit drinks, was a destination back in the 1960s and ‘70s – a lone business surrounded by acres and acres of farmland.

Fifty years later, streets called Federal Drive, Commerce Drive and Call Parkway – filled with hotels and commercial/industrial enterprises in developments known as “corporate parks” – greet motorists traveling over that same Thruway bridge toward Saile Drive, which also has become a hot spot for new business ventures.

“What we have seen and continue to see in that part of the town is the result of the efforts of several true visionaries, people such as the Call family, George Forsyth, Torchy Babcock and Carl Scott – visionaries who paved the way at great sacrifice to their political land personal careers,” Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post said.

Post credited governmental officials for “getting everyone into the room” – farmers, businessmen, politicians, engineers, architects, real estate brokers and industrial development agency staff – to install the infrastructure necessary to make that area a viable alternative for entrepreneurs.

“Infrastructure is the key,” said Post, a forward-thinking administrator in his own right. “Getting public water and sewer, and don't discount the fact that sales tax in Genesee County is (or was) less than in Monroe and Erie.” (Post was referring to sales tax rates at early stages of development).

‘GATEWAY’ TO ECONOMIC GROWTH

This has enabled the Genesee County Economic Development Center to establish the Gateway I Corporate Park (Federal and Commerce Drive) and Gateway II Corporate Park (Call Parkway) off of Route 98, and to help facilitate the buildup of West and East Saile Drive, which is anchored by the Milton CAT (Caterpillar heavy equipment) facility.

Steve Hyde, GCEDC president and chief executive officer, said he realized when he started at the agency in 2002 that there would be a demand for commercial bases between Western New York’s two large cities.

“From my first days at the GCEDC, we knew that there was demand for more capacity for these industries and for larger consolidated operations centers serving Buffalo and Rochester that could support enhanced jobs and investment,” Hyde said. “There were already signs that the market was responding at Gateway I Corporate Park. We had to be ready for more.”

Hyde said that after two decades of working with municipal partners and landowners on projects, “that demand has turned into successful results.”

“Both of Genesee County's business parks are fully activated. The businesses and careers that started this momentum have thrived, and more construction is on the way,” he said.

“And it’s incredible to see our heartland industries like the ag and construction equipment and logistics and transportation growing hand-in-hand with our shovel-ready sites north of the Thruway, and all along Saile Drive.”

A FLURRY OF DEVELOPMENT

Close to two dozen businesses are located at the two corporate parks and along Saile Drive.

Gateway I, which broke ground about 20 years ago, is sold out.

Businesses there include Farm Credit East (pictured below), (formerly) Aluydne (pictured below), Fairfield Hotel, Mondelez, Traco Manufacturing, Mega Properties (Koolatron, Exide Technologies, Auto Plus Auto Parts), Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn and Fairbridge Inn. The 147,000-square foot Aluyde building is currently listed by Pyramid Brokerage.

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Gateway II (Call Parkway) features Ashley Furniture, Mega Properties and Gateway GS LLC, the latter being a five-building project of Gallina Development Corp. of Rochester (pictured below). The Mercy Flight EMS Genesee base just off Route 98 is adjacent to the park.

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Moving to Saile Drive, you’ll find Alta Equipment Company/Vantage Equipment (pictured below), SCP Distributors, Monroe Tractor, Freightliner & Western Star of Batavia, Milton CAT (pictured below) and L&M Specialty Fabrication, which is close to Bank Street Road (pictured below).

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LandPro Equipment, Valiant Real Estate USA (New York Bus Sales) reportedly will be building on Saile Drive, while Rochester Regional Health is preparing to construct a four-story office building on Route 98, across from Federal Drive and near Call Parkway.

“What we’re seeing now is that the whole area is erupting with activity,” said Chris Suozzi, GCEDC’s vice president of business and workforce development. “The Gallina project is indicative of what is happening.”

GALLINA’S BIG PROJECT IS UNDERWAY

Suozzi said Gallina’s plan is to erect five 27,000-square foot buildings. One is complete and the second one is under construction.

“Everything has grown organically as our industrial parks were kind of the anchor tenants, if you will, in the beginning,” he said. “Organically, because of it being zoned Industrial out there, we’re seeing this tremendous impact over a course of time.”

GCEDC Marketing Director Jim Krencik mentioned the need for modern, office warehousing, calling it “flex space.”

“That’s what Gallina is doing,” he said. “They have 20 acres in total, and will sell four acres every time they complete one of the buildings. Then they will take ownership of the buildings from the GCEDC, which owns the property."

Krencik said Gallina’s investment is around $2 million for each building.

“When you look out across the country, including the Buffalo and Rochester markets, there isn’t a large amount of really good, modern usable facilities,” he added.

Suozzi said the reason for that is that the “industrial vacancy rate is really low.”

“A lot of the existing inventory of buildings – you get your commercial and industrial real estate folks .... there’s not inventory available. The market is demanding that you have flex space or spec space so that the capacity is there when somebody really wants a product,” he offered.

He said the first Gallina building was built on speculation, recognizing that it would fill over time.

“The first (Gallina) building went up without a tenant,” he said. “Now, they’ve subdivided into thirds and there are three tenants in there.”

Buildings two through five are being constructed with tenants already lined up, he advised.

PRIVATE OWNERS MAKING DEALS

Tony Mancuso, longtime real estate broker for Mancuso Commercial Realty, said he has represented numerous landowners at Gateway I, Gateway II and Saile Drive as well as selling the parcel where the Federal Detention Facility is located and most of the parcels on Veterans Memorial Drive to the southwest.

“There’s not a lot of land left in those areas, actually,” he said, although he did say he is representing owners of about 10 vacant acres on Saile Drive.

Mancuso said developers will be looking to areas beyond the corporate parks, likely on land further west of Route 98.

Krencik said Saile Drive has intensified over the past decade, becoming a huge corridor for logistics as well as heavy equipment manufacturing, servicing and production that feeds into agriculture and transportation.

“We have our own park, but you really see the spillover and multiplier effect happening all the way down that street from Route 98 to Bank Street Road,” he said. “We’re taking about projects that have invested over $50 million in facilities they built or are planning to build on 500,000 square feet between those two areas and creating several hundred jobs.”

REAL ESTATE BROKER ‘NOT SURPRISED’

He called Saile Drive “almost a secret industrial park” with companies serving the need for big equipment, such as Milton CAT – “like-minded businesses all having the same vision and locating within a short distance of each other.”

Suozzi said GCEDC was the catalyst of this activity, but now “you’re seeing other people that own land along Saile Drive, that once the infrastructure was put in … you’re seeing local commercial/industrial realtors like Tony Mancuso, Rick Mancuso and Russ Romano who are selling property for individual owners along Saile Drive.”

Rick Mancuso, managing partner of Mancuso Real Estate, said he has represented property owners on Saile Drive, closing on several sales, including L&M Specialty Fabrication.

A business owner for many years, he said he could see this influx of development coming.

“I think that area is just beginning to take off right now. The close proximity of the (Genesee County) Airport and the Thruway make that property a real viable area for development,” he said.

“When land became scarce, the farmland started being sold and bought up at rates that even surprised the real estate brokers. It doesn’t surprise me, though, especially with our location between Buffalo and Rochester.”

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Comments
February 5, 2020 - 3:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Gateway II, batavia, Mega Properties, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider accepting an application for assistance from Mega Properties at the GCEDC’s Feb. 6 board meeting.

Mega Properties is investing approximately $3 million to build a 60,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in the Town of Batavia at the Gateway II Corporate Park.

The project is the first phase of development on a 22.2-acre site purchased by Mega Properties in 2019. The site could accommodate approximately 120,000 square feet of additional facilities.

Mega Properties has long-standing ties to Batavia, having launched in Batavia’s Harvester Business Incubation Center more than 30 years ago. The business is currently based at the Gateway I Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia.

Mega Properties is seeking approximately $558,497 in assistance, including a property tax exemption of $400,497, a sales tax exemption of $128,000, and a mortgage tax exemption of $30,000.

Since the project is requesting more than $100,000 in incentives, public hearings will be scheduled for comment and feedback to the requests.

The Gateway II Corporate Park is located less than a mile from Interstate 90 Exit 48 in the Town of Batavia and is home to Ashley Furniture HomeStore’s regional distribution facility.

The Gateway II Corporate Park is also the site of Gallina Development’s manufacturing/distribution flex building -- the Gateway GS campus, which has immediate availability for lease tenants seeking 4,500- to 27,000-square-feet of space.

October 30, 2018 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Station, Gateway II, batavia, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider approving incentives for two projects at the agency’s Nov. 1st board meeting.

The Ellicott Station Project in the City of Batavia is a mixed-use brownfield redevelopment project including adaptive re-use and new construction of a blighted property in a key gateway to downtown Batavia.

Savarino Companies, the project’s developer, has requested a PILOT agreement for the $22.5 million project be expanded to meet the financing needed for the project’s expanded scope and scale. A revised incentives package is valued at an estimated $3.25 million, including a property tax abatements and sales and mortgage tax exemptions.

The Ellicott Station project is anticipated to create 68 full-time equivalent jobs, the construction of a 99,000-square-foot brewery, including a restaurant and beer garden, and the construction of a five-story apartment building with 55 apartments and class-A office space.

Gateway GS LLC is seeking an $18,000 mortgage tax exemption for the first of five planned 27,000-square-foot spec buildings to be constructed at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the town of Batavia.

The $2.6 million project, which is being done by Gallina Development Corporation, has previously received approval for property and sales tax abatements.

October 30, 2018 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fairfield inn, batavia, news, business, Gateway II.

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Construction finally began just over a week ago on a new four-story, 64-room hotel on Federal Drive in the Gateway II project.

The hotel will be operated by Oakfield Hospitality LLC, a company headed by Ash Patel, and branded as a Fairfield Inn.

While Oakfield Hospitality acquired the property from Genesee County Economic Development Center, the project has not received any incentives from the IDA.

Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, said the new hotel will help bring more visitors to Batavia.

"The addition of the Fairfield Inn to Genesee County’s inventory of hotel properties adds one of the only large flagship chains – Marriott – not represented in our county," Turnbull said. "The familiarity of the Marriott name and the loyalty to its brand by its customers means even more people will be staying in Genesee County hotels.

"That means not only more revenue for the hotels but also from restaurants, retail shops and other ancillary businesses in our area. More tourism revenue also means more sales tax revenue from sources outside of the county, which should help reduce the burden on county taxpayers."

September 5, 2017 - 8:38pm

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The Batavia Town Planning Board on Tuesday night approved the placement of three face lit, red, white and blue acrylic wall signs for the proposed Five Star Urgent Care project on Veterans Memorial Drive, adjacent to The Home Depot.

Tracey Diehl, expeditor for the national chain of walk-in clinics that treat people with illnesses and injuries and perform physicals, immunizations and X-rays, said that the 16-foot-high signs each measure 133.12 square feet and will allow patrons to identify Five Star Urgent Care when coming from all directions.

“We wanted to make the signs (depicting the firm’s red, white and blue logo) equal in size so that they don’t look awkward,” Diehl told the board. “They will be face lit and made of acrylic with a vinyl overlay.”

Diehl said the site, which has yet to be developed, is close to The Home Depot and the NYS Thruway, with visibility from Veterans Memorial Drive, the Thruway and Park Road.

Previously, Five Star Urgent Care’s variance requests were approved by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals and recommended for approval by the Genesee County Planning Board.

According to the company’s website, there are 12 locations in New York, including Jamestown, Geneva, Ithaca and Plattsburgh. Diehl said that “six more sites are in the process” of being finalized.

She also noted that there are some in other states.

The New York locations were founded in 2012 by Dr. John Radford, a physician based in Ellicottville who spent time as an emergency department employee in Batavia early in his more than 20-year career.

Diehl said that a major benefit provided by Five Star Urgent Care is that it takes walk-ins. Plans are to open by the end of the year.

In other action, the board approved a site plan and the construction of one building for Gateway GC LLC’s commercial office building/parking lot project in the Gateway II Corporate Park on Call Parkway off West Saile Drive.

Further expansion, however, would be subject to the completion of conditions from the original list of Gateway II park improvements that focus on traffic flow and a water main.

According to David Ciurzynski, project manager for general contract Manning Squires Hennig Co. Inc., the $2.6 million plan calls for the construction of five 27,00-square-foot buildings with ample landscaping featuring several varieties of trees, including maples, oaks, chestnuts and birch.

Board Chairperson Kathy Jasinski noted the importance of proper landscaping.

“This is something that I was interested in, since you will be setting the bar," she said. "For anything that follows, we would like to keep the same look."

Town Engineer Steve Mountain pointed out that there could be traffic flow issues as buildings are added to the site, adding that the expense of highway improvements would likely be split among developers, the Genesee County Economic Development Center and state and/or federal grants.

Ciurzynski said that his company is working with GCEDC to complete Call Parkway (a path to Route 98) and the water lines needed to service the buildings.

He said that the project “doesn’t work if we have (approval for) only one building,” adding that his company already has attracted a possible tenant for the first building.

August 11, 2017 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gateway II, GCEDC, county planning, land use, batavia, business.

A Rochester-based company is working on plans to build five structures in the industrial park bounded by Oak Orchard Road and West Saile Drive, known as Gateway II, that investors hope will attract new business and jobs to the area.

The Genesee County Planning Board was asked to review the site plan for five buildings that will be a mix of warehouse and office space on an 18.8-acres lot and last night the board recommended approval.

Dave Cuirzynski, representing Gateway LS LLC, a subsidiary of Gallina Development Corp., said the company plans to start with one structure, find a tenant and use that to attract more tenants for the other four structures.

"This gives us some added space for companies to come in and attract more businesses," Cuirzynski said. "We can start developing Gateway so it can do what it was intended to do."

Gateway II is a shovel-ready industrial park developed by the Genesee County Economic Development Center. It is 57 acres and includes facilities for Ashley Furniture and Milton Caterpillar.

Gallina is planning a $2.625 million investment in the project, leading to the construction of 25,000 square feet of building that a potential tenant can modify to meet any business need, from office space to warehouse to light industrial.

The other four buildings could be as large as 27,000 square feet.

According to GCEDC officials, the agency regularly received requests for proposals for ready-to-use space, but it often isn't available locally. This new construction will help fill that gap.

The company is seeking sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $140,000. A public hearing on the request will be held on a date yet to be announced.

August 4, 2017 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Ellicott Station, Gateway II, batavia, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for the $17.6 million Ellicott Station project by Savarino Companies in the City of Batavia at the agency’s Aug. 3 board meeting. The GCEDC Board also accepted an application for assistance from Gateway GS LLC, which is proposing to invest $2.625 million for a phase one development of a 25,000-square-foot spec structure in the Gateway II Corporate Park.

The $17.6 million development by Savarino is anticipated to create approximately 60 new jobs. It was recently announced that the first tenant for the site will be the Resurgence Brewing Company. This project would contribute to the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2) redevelopment fund and be eligible to draw funds out of the fund to support the project investment related to infrastructure and related improvements in and around the site which offers a “public benefit.”

As a part of the project, the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) will submit a “certificate of consistency” and infrastructure development plan, which is a requirement to enable funding to flow from the BP2 redevelopment fund.

Savarino is receiving approximately $1.5 million in sales and mortgage tax and property tax exemptions. For every dollar of public benefit, the company is investing $21 into the local economy.​

A Rochester area developer has created an LLC and is planning to invest $2.625 million to build a 25,000-square-foot “shell” spec building at Gateway II in the Town of Batavia. The building allows potential customers the flexibility in final design while reducing construction lead time. The master plan will build out in four or five phases of 27,000-square-foot facilities, each on 10 acres.

The GCEDC receives several RFPs annually from companies looking for “ready to go” warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, technology and office space tenants. This has been a market opportunity that the agency has been unable to pursue in the past.

The company is seeking sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $140,000. Since the incentives being sought are more than $100,000 a public hearing will be held at a date and time to be determined.

“We are anxious to see work get started at Ellicott Station as this is a major investment in the City of Batavia under the B2P program,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “The spec building being proposed at Gateway aligns with our success in taking the ‘build it and they will come approach’ at our various business parks which has proven to be a successful business model.”

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