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March 8, 2019 - 7:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, notify, workforce development.

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The keynote speaker today at the Genesee County Economic Development Center's annual meeting at Batavia Downs was Jeremy Bout, founder and CEO of Edge Factor.

It's an education resource company that makes video and training materials to help attract students to STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- fields and then guide them through a career path.

Bout said his life was changed as a teen when he was given access to advanced manufacturing tools that were really beyond what most 18-year-olds get access to while in training. That eventually led him to seek ways to make STEM careers more attractive for students and help bridge the gap between what today's employers need to hire and what careers young people are choosing.

"I realize I was one of the lucky ones," Bout said. "I was the one that came out of high school that didn't get lost in the shuffle. I found meaningful work and meaningful employment.

"I went on to study many different things but it was that opportunity with the real-world intersecting my education that gave me that gateway into my passion." 

Bout and his team make videos that tell the stories of how technology impacts lives. They also make highly engaging training videos that help young people prepare to enter the workforce.

"We want to use media and technology because there are new methods for a new generation," Bout said.

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The Genesee Valley Education Partnership received GCEDC's Economic Development Partner of the Year Award.

GCEDC works with GVEP on workforce development in 22 school districts in the region, serving 24,000 students.

"For those of you who are here today, whether you're an educator, a legislator, or a business owner, business developer, or a board member, or whomever or whatever you represent, I think we all have one collective goal," said Kevin McDonald, district superintendent.

"And that is to make Genesee County and our region a great place to live, work and play. We hope our contributions will only provide opportunity and encouragement for our younger generations to make the choice to live, work and play in our community."

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley spoke of the regulatory and tax challenges businesses and taxpayers face in New York but said in Western New York, we continue to have a positive outlook.

He also said not all of his colleagues in Albany obstruct business development. He noted that when Amazon decided to pull out of a planned second headquarters in Queens, he immediately put out a press release, and sent a letter to Jeff Bezos inviting Amazon to STAMP -- Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park -- in Alabama.

That action, he said, received some notable support in Albany, particularly from Crystal Peoples Stokes, the current majority leader.

"She went out of her way and walked up to me and said, 'I don't know if you saw it or not, but I put out a statement supporting you and supporting STAMP for Amazon to locate here in Western New York,' Hawley said. "That's a huge thing.

"So we're not giving up. We're going to tell people around this country and around the world that we're open for business."

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State Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer said there is a new wind blowing through Albany, one that is much more focused on social issues and much less focused on taking care of business in New York.

One big example, he said, is the shuttled Amazon deal in Queens. Another is the push to extend prevailing wage provisions to private-sector economic development.

There's also more focus on things like voting rights and abortion. Albany is dealing with these issues at this point in the legislative session rather than what in past years has been the top focus -- the state budget.

"These are the things that are out there," Ranzenhofer said. "They were never really a concern. They were never going to happen. But they are happening each and every week in Albany and they are directly impacting this community. My message to you is that you have to, and we all collectively have to, be vigilant more so than in the past."

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Steve Hyde touched on several activities of GCEDC during his remarks but especially STAMP -- noting the continued progress to make the site shovel ready for large, high-tech manufacturers and the state's continued support of the project.

"I never knew when I started this journey, actually in the fall of 2005 were the first steps, when I kind of started on this vision of trying to create a big, huge high-tech mega site to create better opportunities for kids," Hyde said. "I never knew that that was going to be a career-defining project."

March 8, 2019 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, business, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for two projects at the organization’s March 7 board meeting. 

Gateway GS LLC plans to invest $450,000 to build out the interior of an existing 27,000-square-foot spec building that the company constructed in 2018 at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia. The project will create five new jobs.

Gateway GS LLC will receive sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions totaling approximately $206,000. For every dollar of public benefit, the company will invest approximately $12.60 into the local economy.

Gateway GS LLC intends to lease the space for various uses, including warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, technology and commercial operations. The company has already lined up tenants for the improved facility, and plans to construct four additional buildings in the near future.

Tenney Coin Laundry, which is located on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia, is purchasing $197,896 in new equipment and was approved for a sales tax abatement of approximately $15,832. For every dollar of public benefit, Tenney Coin Laundry is investing $56.70 into the local economy.

Tenney Coin Laundry also has submitted a grant request to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative's (DRI) building improvement fund for repairs to the facility's facade as well as structural improvements. Funding through the DRI is administered by the Batavia Development Corporation.

March 7, 2019 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, notify, STAMP.

Since 2004, the Genesee Economic Development Center has assisted companies in adding 12.6 million square feet in commercial space in Genesee County, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde told the Ways and Means Committee during an annual department review Wednesday.

That's a 37-percent increase in commercial space in the county, Hyde said.

There are 30 companies operating in the seven industrial parks developed by GCEDC.

The big park with the biggest vacant area, of course, is the 1,200-acre Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park or STAMP project in Alabama.

The project lost a chance to land direct-wafer solar pioneer 1366 Technologies a year ago and has yet to land a new company for the park but Hyde said there is one big project pending that may yet sign and another in early-stage discussions.

The state has already invested about $10.9 in STAMP for initial infrastructure development. Those funds were approved in the 2014 state budget but released until 1366 signed on as the site's first tenant. The infrastructure work was started before 1366 withdrew from the project because of its inability to reach terms with the Department of Energy on a loan guarantee. Last week, 1366 announced the anticipated opening of its production facility in Malaysia.

At Wednesday's meeting, Hyde announced that the Empire State Development has just authorized another $8 million for major infrastructure -- sewer and water -- for STAMP. The upgrades in infrastructure plans are necessary, Hyde said, because the companies exploring the site now are going to need more infrastructure capacity. 

The state is also providing another $2 million grant for the Corfu/Pembroke sewer project.

During Wednesday's meeting, Hyde expressed some concern about the future of the economy, with some economists warning that tariffs and the trade war with China is taking its toll on growth both here and aboard.

GCEDC is forecasting IDA-backed projects in 2019 will create only 90 new jobs. That's a conservative number because companies have become more conservative in their job creation estimates for incentive-backed expansions because of clawback provisions initiated in state law a couple of years ago.

A clawback is a requirement for a company to return some incentive money if they fail to meet job creation guarantees.

"Companies are unwilling to be as aggressive in forecasted jobs so they tend to under-promise and over deliver," Hyde said.

A clawback is at the local IDA's discretion and Hyde said the GCEDC's board is hesitant to initiate a clawback if there is a reason outside of a company's control for not reaching job projection numbers, such as a slowing economy.

"We don't like to kick a company when it's down," Hyde said. 

He said the board has canceled incentives when companies have failed to perform but only when there is a sound reason to believe the company has failed at its obligations absent of external business cycle factors.

"That's not anything we're afraid to do," Hyde said.

Much of what Hyde presented will be part of GCEDC's annual meeting at 11:30 a.m., tomorrow, at Batavia Downs.

March 7, 2019 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in prevailing wage, economic development, GCEDC, news, notify.

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Downstate labor unions are pushing legislation that would require private-sector construction projects that receive even $1 of government assistance to pay "prevailing wage."

If this law goes into effect, it will kill economic development in Upstate, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde told the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

"This is just over the top," Hyde said. "You can go back in history across the U.S. and see that when government tries to mandate wages and tries to tinker with the mechanisms of free market systems, you get bad results."

Prevailing wage is the amount of compensation, including benefits, the Department of Labor sets for workers employed by companies doing projects for government agencies.

Supporters of the proposed change in the law equate prevailing wage with market-rate wages but that's just factually incorrect, Hyde said. A prevailing wage requirement would drive up the cost of projects backed by an IDA (Industrial Development Agency) by 25 to 30 percent.

That will drive business out of the state, Hyde said.

For small companies looking to expand, it will make projects financially unfeasible and for companies looking to locate new plants to New York, it will make the state even less competitive.

The IDAs in Ulster County and Yonkers have previously tried imposing similar requirements on projects they helped finance and in both cases, the IDAs had to back off the prevailing wage requirement because economic development came to a grinding halt in those jurisdictions.

"This is really a 'turn the lights out' for economic development if this were to happen in New York State," Hyde said.

With less development, Hyde said, there will be fewer jobs and the fallout would hurt huge sectors of New York's economy, from construction to architects and engineers.

While the major push for the bill is coming from Downstate labor unions, Hyde said he hasn't heard what position, if any, labor unions in Western New York are taking. One of the bill's cosponsors is from Rochester, Assemblyman Harry Bronson.

A similar bill has previously passed the State Assembly but died in the then-Republican-controlled State Senate. Now that Democrats control the Senate, the bill's defeat is far less certain.

Hyde asked members of the Legislature to write to state representatives expressing their opposition to the bill in the hope that it could be defeated.

Photo: Jim Krencik, marketing and communications director for GCEDC, and Steve Hyde, CEO.

March 4, 2019 - 5:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, GCEDC, micropolitan, batavia, genesee county.

Press release:

Batavia and Genesee County have continued their streak of being recognized as one of the nation’s top micropolitan regions for business growth, as the area was ranked third in Site Selection magazine’s annual rankings.

The ranking of “Top Micropolitans” is based on cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county. It is the 16th consecutive year Batavia and Genesee County have been recognized and the fifth consecutive year ranked in the top five.

The area received its highest ranking ever in 2017 as it climbed all the way to number two among the annual survey of micropolitans across the country. 

“We are thrilled that the hard work that Genesee County and our partners in the public and private sector continues to be recognized as making Batavia-Genesee County the top micropolitan for business in New York,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic development Center.

“Our region is focused on building the shovel-ready sites, active business attraction, expansion and retention, and workforce talent development to continue our economic growth.”

Site Selection magazine recognized 13 of the GCEDC’s project “wins” in 2018 across several stages of project development. The GCEDC closed on 16 projects in 2018, securing $33.7 million in capital investment, 99 new jobs, and more than 189,000 square feet of new construction in Genesee County.

Since 2003, the GCEDC has provided similar assistance and incentives for 465 projects which have generated $1.3 billion in capital investment and the creation and/or retention of approximately 4,627 jobs.

February 27, 2019 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, STAMP, Alabama, GCEDC, 1366 Technologies.

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The advanced manufacturing plant that could have been in Genesee County with a little more political support will open soon in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

Bedford, Mass.-based 1366 Technologies has been building a plant with the support of one of the companies that have invested in the startup, Hanwha Q CELLS, and announced this week the plant will open soon.

Until this week, 1366 had been unwilling to release the location of its new factory.

It will be the world's first direct wafer factory. The direct wafer process was invented at MIT and patented by 1366. It makes solar wafers much like glass is made, with silicon being poured on a flat surface. The company has claimed the process is more energy efficient and produces less waste.

In 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to Batavia to announce 1366 as the first tech company to agree to open a plant in STAMP, the advanced manufacturing project in Alabama, that would bring 1,000 mostly high-paying jobs to Genesee County.

The plan was for 1366 to invest $700 million in the plant. GCEDC and Empire State Development and other state agencies would provide $53 million in tax abatements and grants, based on certain incentives being met over 10 years.

The Department of Energy, in 2009, also promised 1366 a $150 million loan guarantee based on 1366 meeting two criteria: selecting a site for their factory and raising $100 million in private investment.

That deal fell apart on claims by Department of Energy officials that 1366 failed to select a site for its factory and had failed to raise the $100 million.  

The company had raised $80 million in private equity but the DOE would not renegotiate the terms of the loan.

Rep. Chris Collins, based on a conversation with a member of his staff, was not hugely supportive of his staff and it's not clear he did much to help the process along. After 1366 announced plans to pull out of the STAMP deal, Collins questioned the company's credibility. He said at the time that 1366's announcement was evidence that the company was never serious about building a plant in Genesee County.

Based on the expectation that 1366 was coming to STAMP, with the help of Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, the state released $33 million for development of shovel-ready infrastructure at the Alabama location. 

Since 1366 pulled out of the deal nearly a year ago, GCEDC Steve Hyde has said on multiple occasions that GCEDC is talking with several prospective tenants for STAMP but so far no new deals have been announced. 

As of May 1366 and the DOE were locked in a dispute over ownership of patents because of the assistance the DOE had given to 1366 early in the process of developing its technology. The Batavian is not aware of any change in the status of that dispute.

UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: In this story, and previously, we reported that 1366 withdrew from plans to build in STAMP in March. Shortly after this story published we received documents, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, from the Department of Energy, that revealed that STAMP informed DOE of its request to withdraw its loan application on Jan. 31, 2018.  There was no other new information in the set of documents.

For all of The Batavian's previous coverage of 1366, click here.

Top photo: Frank van Mierlo, CEO, 1366 Technologies, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the October 2015 announcement at GCC of 1366's plans to build a plant at STAMP.

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Photo released by 1366 of its nearly completed plant in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

February 18, 2019 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) has announced that the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) will receive the Economic Development Partner of the Year award at the agency’s annual business meeting, which takes place March 8 at Batavia Downs.

GVEP serves more than 24,000 students in 22 school districts in  Genesee, Livingston, Steuben and Wyoming counties. The Partnership offers a wide range of programs and services including career and technical education, special education, alternative education, instructional and technical support services, and management services.

“The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership has been instrumental in advancing workforce development initiatives in Genesee County and across the GLOW region,” said President and CEO of GCEDC Steve Hyde. “We look forward to celebrating the Partnership’s tremendous achievements as we continue to invest in the youth of Genesee County.”

GVEP played an instrumental role in bringing a new program called Edge Factor into Genesee County schools. Edge Factor provides a high-tech Web platform and creates high-end videos for students, parents, teachers, counselors and businesses that help introduce the stakeholders across the county to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career pathways that align with the type of jobs currently in demand across the region.

“The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (the Partnership) is honored to be selected as the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s 2019 Partner of the Year,” said District Superintendent for The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Kevin MacDonald.

“We truly appreciate our partnership with the GCEDC as we create and develop new programs and services that are aligned to meet the needs of our communities, businesses and workforce. We are pleased to support the introduction of Edge Factor as a local resource for students to explore regional career prospects.”

The theme of this year’s annual meeting is “Investing in Our Strongest Assets.” The event will emphasize the GCEDC’s workforce talent development and shovel-ready site development achievements, and thank the partners involved in those efforts.

February 8, 2019 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Graham Manufacturing, business, GCEDC, batavia.

Press release: 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) voted to accept applications for incentives from Graham Manufacturing and Gateway GS, LLC at the agency’s Feb. 7 board meeting. 

Graham Manufacturing is investing $1.075 million for capital improvements to expand various properties at its campus in the City of Batavia. The company will renovate an existing 8,000 square feet of buildings, including an expansion and renovation of its 4,000-square-foot welding school to meet market demand for welders. 

An existing 4,000-square-foot manufacturing building also will be repurposed and the company will build a new 5,000-square-foot warehouse for storage needs. The capital investments will help Graham retain 291 jobs in the City of Batavia.

The company is seeking sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions totaling approximately $130,000. For every $1 of public benefit offered, Graham Manufacturing is investing and helping generate an economic contribution/ impact of approximately $5.90 into the economy. 

Gateway GS, LLC is investing $450,000 to build out the interior of an existing 27,000-square-foot speculative building the company constructed in 2018 at the Gateway II Corporate Park in Batavia. The project would create five new jobs.

Gateway GS, LLC intends to lease the space where tenants would provide input to the final buildout. Among the various uses that the building offers includes space for warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing, technology and commercial operations.

The company is seeking sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions totaling approximately $206,000. For every $1 of public benefit offered, Gateway GS, LLC is investing and helping generate an economic contribution/ impact of approximately $12.60 into the economy. 

“We are very excited to support two great projects that will have significant economic impacts for Genesee County and Batavia,” said GCEDC Board Chairman Paul Battaglia.

“These projects demonstrate the importance of assisting companies such as Graham Manufacturing that are retaining jobs and in the instance of Gateway GS creating new jobs and hopefully even more new jobs as they bring in tenants to their spec building.”

February 7, 2019 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCEDC, news, business, 2019 Meeting & Luncheon.

From the Genesee County Economic Development Center:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center will hold its annual Meeting & Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8, at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel in the Paddock Room.

Cost is $25 per person. Batavia Downs is located at 8315 Park Road in Batavia.

To register click, here.

The GCEDC enjoyed another successful year in 2018 and its partners in business, government and education are spending 2019 "Investing in Our Strongest Assets" in growing the local economy.

The center and its staff looks forward to having you join them in celebrating Genesee County's economic progress and showcasing the next steps in their mission at the upcoming Meeting & Luncheon.

The event will start with an informal networking opportunity and the program follows promptly at noon.

Come and learn more about the accomplishments and opportunities the GCEDC is working hard to bring to local communities.

For questions or more information, contact Jim Krencik, director of Marketing & Communications at:  [email protected] or phone 585-343-4866.

February 4, 2019 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, batavia, graham corporation, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider accepting applications for incentives from Graham Manufacturing and Gateway GS, LLC at the agency’s Feb. 7 board meeting. 

Graham Manufacturing is seeking incentives for a $1.075 million capital investment for various properties at its campus in the City of Batavia. The investment would renovate 8,000 square feet of existing space for expanded workforce training and add 5,000 square feet of new space for the construction of a warehouse. The project would help retain 291 jobs.

Gateway GS, LLC is proposing to invest $450,000 to build out the interior of a spec building the company constructed in 2018 at the Gateway II Corporate Park in Batavia. The project would create five new jobs.

Since each project would receive benefits of more than $100,000 public hearings would be scheduled if the applications for incentives are accepted by the GCEDC Board.

All GCEDC Board meetings are open to the public. Meetings are at 4 p.m. unless noted otherwise and take place at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia across from Genesee Community College.

January 18, 2019 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alpina Foods, news, business, notify, GCEDC.

Press release:

“The Genesee County Economic Development Center in collaboration with our many public and private sector partners celebrated in bringing Alpina Foods to Genesee County in 2011. Unfortunately, due to the loss of a co-packaging contract, Alpina Foods has made a decision to close its operations at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

“While this is extremely disappointing news, the GCEDC will be diligent in marketing and promoting the facility to other agricultural businesses. This was similar to our approach in marketing and promoting a former yogurt manufacturing site, which resulted in bringing HP Hood to our community and with it, further economic investment and eventually the hiring of hundreds of employees.

“We are confident that we will have similar success with the Alpina Foods facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

“In the meantime, the GCEDC will work with our public and private sector partners to assist displaced workers in any capacity we can.”

January 11, 2019 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, business, GCEDC, Churchville Fire Equipment.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. at the agency’s Jan. 10th board meeting.

Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. will purchase the land and build a truck setup facility at 10246 Perry Road in the Town of Pavilion. The $900,000 investment by the company, which includes $700,000 to purchase the land, will create three new jobs.

Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. was approved for just over $50,000 in incentives, including sales and mortgage and property tax exemptions. For every one dollar in incentives, the company will be investing $78 into the local economy.

Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. has decades of experience in the fire and emergency services industry, and supplies area fire companies with life-saving equipment.

January 9, 2019 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Churchville Fire Equipment, GCEDC, business, Pavilion, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider accepting an application for incentives from Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. at the agency’s Jan. 10th board meeting. 

The company is seeking to purchase land and build a truck setup facility in an existing facility on 10246 Perry Road in the Town of Pavillion.  The $900,000 investment by the company would create three new jobs.

Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. is seeking just over $50,000 in incentives, including sales and mortgage and property tax exemptions.

Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. has decades of experience in the fire and emergency services industry, and supplies area fire companies with life-saving equipment.

November 2, 2018 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, business, Ellicott Station, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved a revised PILOT -- Payment In Lieu Of Taxes -- for the Ellicott Station development project and incentives for the construction of a spec building at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia.

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

The GCEDC Board approved a $22.5 million PILOT for Savarino Companies, the developer of the project, to meet the financing needed for the project’s expanded scope and scale. Incentives are an estimated $3.25 million, including property tax abatements and sales and mortgage tax exemptions.

When fully developed, Ellicott Station will create 68 full-time equivalent jobs and will include the construction of 99,000 square feet of brewery, restaurant and beer garden, a five-story apartment building with 55 apartments and class-A office space.

The Board approved an $18,000 mortgage tax exemption for Gateway GS, LLC for the first of five planned 27,000-square-foot spec buildings the company is building at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia.

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

November 2, 2018 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GGLDC, GCEDC, news, business.

Press release:

The Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) approved a revised and consolidated loan and two purchase and sale agreements for parcels in the Gateway II Corporate Park at the corporation’s Nov. 1st board meeting.

Artisinal cheesemaker Yancey’s Fancy requested the revision and consolidation of a January 2017 loan for an expansion project at the company’s Town of Pembroke facility. A $233,449 loan from the GGLDC’s Revolving Loan Fund #2 will close out the fund in its entirety and will be consolidated with two outstanding loans totaling $340,000.

The GGLDC also approved the sale of a 22.2-acre parcel of land at the Gateway II Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia to Mega Properties Inc. which plans to build a 60,000-square-foot facility.  

Wellsville Carpet Town Inc. received approval from the GGLDC to purchase a 2.9-acre parcel of land also located in the Gateway II Corporate Park. Wellsville Carpet Town plans to construct a 15,000- to 20,000-square-foot facility for an outlet center at the site. A purchase and sale agreement set the land price at $45,000 per acre. The company owns Ashley HomeStore, a business also located in the Gateway II Corporate Park.

Both Mega Properties Inc. and Wellsville Carpet Town Inc. may seek incentives from the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) in the future.

November 2, 2018 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GGLDC, GCEDC, news, business.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) passed a budget for fiscal year 2019 at its board meeting on Nov. 1. The budget anticipates cash outflows of approximately $2.5 million.

“The mission of the GGLDC is to foster local economic development by making real estate development investments that prepare sites in Genesee County for new corporate tenants,” said Tom Felton, chairman of the GGLDC.

“The GGLDC also provides strategic investment funding to support the GCEDC’s ongoing economic development and workforce development programs.”

The anticipated 2019 expenditures of the GGLDC include operations and maintenance for the MedTech Centre building, site/corporate park maintenance, an economic development program support grant to the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), continuing to support a dedicated workforce development consultant, and professional services. 

Other significant items include: an $890,000 pass-through grant from the New York State Department of Transportation that furthers the ability of the tenants of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park (Ag Park) to access rail; $655,000 in debt service payments supporting development at the Ag Park and the MedTech Center campuses; as well as $352,000 in expenses related to wastewater treatment facility upgrades in the Village of Corfu in partnership with the Town of Pembroke, supporting the Buffalo East Technology Park. 

A major source of revenue is rent of $670,000 from the MedTech Centre facility. In addition, $205,000 will be received through the Empire Pipeline Community Benefit Agreement for the final payment of Ag Park bonding. Additional cash receipts will include $202,000 in principal and interest payments from several companies repaying loans made in previous years.

“The GGLDC will continue to actively market our shovel-ready parks in collaboration with the Genesee County Economic Development Center in 2019,” Felton said. “We have been working on a few projects that we anticipate will come to fruition by the end of 2019.”

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 7, 2018 - 6:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Ellicott Station, batavia, news, notify.

State officials are looking for a more robust commitment from the community before signing off on a low-interest loan to help finance the Ellicott Station project in Batavia; developer Sam Savarino told members of the GCEDC board at their Thursday meeting.

As a result, the GCEDC board will consider an expanded PILOT for the project to match the 30-year loan from Homes and Community Renewal and also take into account the increased cost of the project, from $17.6 million to $21.75 million, as well as the expanded size from 73,100 square feet to 99,111 square feet, and the increase in apartment units from 51 to 55.

The loan is the last piece of the financing puzzle for the project, which has already been delayed by a year because of the complex financing, that includes a $3.5 million investment from Savarino, tax incentives by GCEDC of at least $1.5 million, state grants, and more than $10 million in private investment through a program called the New Market Tax Credits, which allows investors to purchase federal tax credits to help finance projects in distressed urban areas.

As the cost of the project has gone up, so has the cost of financing and transaction costs, which could top $2.5 million.

This is the first project to combine New Market Tax Credits and HCR financing, according to Savarino Companies CFO Milissa Acquard.

The incentives already approved include $897,293 in sales tax savings, $128,232 mortgage tax savings and GCEDC will consider increasing the and $537,398 in property tax savings for the project.

Half of the PILOT payments will be returned to the developer through the “Batavia Pathway to Prosperity” (BP2) program with half going to the relevant taxing jurisdictions (typically, half of the PILOT in a BP2 project area goes into a pool to provide future assistance to to other projects).

Savarino said he thinks their proposal with HCR has gotten past a concern about the planned rental rates for the apartments.

HCR wants to ensure the apartments will be occupied and setting rents plus utilities at 90 percent of the city's median income seemed high to HCR officials, even though that formula is typically acceptable under HCR regulations. Officials asked Savarino to consider setting rents based on 80 or 85 percent of the median income.

Changing the rental rate creates a domino effect for the rest of the financial package, Savarino said, that makes the project much harder to pull off.

Savarino and Acquard said they both think they've reached an agreement with HRC on rents and the financing package but that includes an expanded PILOT approved by the GCEDC board.

"One of the issues that have kept coming up, in some cases with the New Market investors, but also with HCR, is the local buy-in," Savarino said. "It's been deemed not to have enough investment from the community for the benefit the community is getting. We've effectively checked that box by discussing a possible change to the PILOT."

A public hearing will be scheduled on a revised PILOT once the details are worked out.

October 5, 2018 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Amada Tool, darien lake, darien lake theme park, batavia, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for Amada Tool and Six Flags Darien Lake LLC, and accepted an application for an expanded PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement to support the Ellicott Station development at the agency’s Oct. 4 board meeting.

Amada Tool in the City of Batavia was approved for incentives for an $8.8 million capital investment to increase the company’s manufacturing facility by approximately 19,000 square feet. The project will create 17 new jobs and retain 68 current jobs. The approved investment includes $2.3 million in construction costs and $6.5 million in new equipment. Amada Tool was approved for property and sales tax exemptions of approximately $266,000.

Six Flags Darien Lake LLC was approved for approximately $166,000 in sales tax exemption to build a new $2.15 million ride that is scheduled to open in 2019.  Six Flags Darien Lake LLC is one of the largest sales tax revenue generators in Genesee County.

The PILOT agreement expansion requested by Savarino Companies for the Ellicott Station development was based on increased capital costs, from approximately $17.6 million to $21.75 million, and the development’s footprint, which will expand from 73,100 square feet to 99,111 square feet. The expansion includes the addition of at-grade garages for residents as well as increasing the number of housing units from 51 units to 55 units. 

NOTE: The Batavian will have a follow-up story on Ellicott Station as soon as we have time to write it, which may not be today.

October 3, 2018 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, St. Anthony's, batavia, City Church.

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As part its workforce development mission, the Genesee Economic Development Center has been participating in Tuesday evening activities at St. Anthony's, run by City Church, by bringing in recruiters to help connect members of the community with job opportunities.

Last night, Remedy Staffing was on hand to let community members know they can help get job seekers interviews with local companies.

Chris Suozzi, VP of business development for GCEDC (top photo and playing basketball below), told the people gathered in the gym during a break in the basketball games that there are more than 1,000 jobs available in Genesee County, including jobs that pay $15 an hour or more and jobs that provide a career path for advancement.

"Whether you're looking for full-time or part-time work there are jobs you can get started on tomorrow," Suozzi said.

Ryan Macdonald, who supervises Tuesday night activities at St. Anthony's, reminded the crowd they asked for help with finding jobs which is why GCEDC and Remedy staffing were on hand.

Kathryn Kempisty, client partnership supervisor for Remedy, said it would only take 30 seconds of a person's time on Tuesday night and a 30-minute meeting sometime in the next week in order for Remedy to line up job interviews with local employers.

"If you don’t know what you’re looking for, we can let you know about the options," Kempisty said. "There is so much out there that we can’t wait to have you come into our office."

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Kathryn Kempisty and Brittany Nadrowski, Remedy Staffing.

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