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September 13, 2021 - 2:49pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, LandPro, town of batavia, GCEDC.

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The decision to invest approximately $10 million to build a 50,000-square foot headquarters at the intersection of West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia not only serves to showcase the growth of John Deere-authorized dealer LandPro Equipment but also will provide numerous career opportunities for students in the Genesee Region.

That message was communicated clearly today as representatives of LandPro, which has 20 locations in Western and Central New York, Northwest and Central Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, gathered with local government and economic development officials, for an on-location groundbreaking ceremony.

“It really will end up being our home location, our central store for LandPro equipment,” said Tracy Buck, company president and chief operating officer. “We’ll have a lot of our leadership team that will work out of here, besides the day-to-day operations that happen at all of our locations.”

Buck said that construction could get started as early as next week and that he expects it to be completed by November 2022. LandPro has hired Thompson Builds of Churchville as the general contractor.

Noting that LandPro will merge its Oakfield and Alexander facilities into the one on West Saile Drive, Buck said the company’s recent expansion enables it to construct what will become LandPro’s central training center, and base of its Precision Farming Division as well as John Deere agriculture, commercial, compact construction and turf equipment sales, parts, retail and service capabilities.

“Now with LandPro the size that we are, we have the resources,” he said. “The time is the time to do this.”

Steve Hyde, president/CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which has approved tax abatements for LandPro, called the investment “meaningful in our community (as) the types of services you guys are going to offer is really going to create great jobs for our kids.”

“We thank you guys for investing in our Glow with Your Hands initiative and the workforce stuff that we have tried to spear, to really kind of put kids in the heart of opportunities like exactly what you’re creating; creating investments for our kids,” Hyde said. “That’s what drives me and my team … it’s about good opportunities for our kids.”

Buck responded by stating Hyde’s sentiment works both ways.

“We’re in Batavia for a reason and Genesee County for a reason. It’s a very business-friendly community that we really appreciate,” he said. “We have nothing without our employees and, as you all know, there’s a big need for qualified employees.

“We have some great opportunities, high-paying jobs available, advancement opportunities. Any help that we can get going forward to attract people to this industry, we’re all in and partners with you.”

Elba Central School Superintendent Gretchen Rosales welcomed LandPro to the area, mentioning that she is “looking forward to the opportunities that you can provide, not only for our students to enhance their learning opportunities but also for the community as a whole.”

And Assemblyman Steven Hawley emphasized agriculture’s role in Genesee County’s economy as he thanked LandPro for its commitment to the area.

“New York is not known as a business-friendly state,” Hawley said. “I bring folks up from New York City, other assembly people, to see who we are and how we live and what the economy is all about. And agriculture is number one so, on behalf of the State of New York and Senator (Edward) Rath, I want to tell you how much this means to all of us.”

Buck said LandPro’s has 500 employees, with about 60 to 65 of them slated to work full time out of the Town of Batavia location.

“We’ll also have a training center here so we will be able to bring in … 50 people, roughly, training at any one time at this location,” he said.

The company’s product line includes Stihl hand-held products, John Deere turf line equipment, and four-wheel drive tractors, combined and choppers.

“We represent pretty much everything that John Deere sells today other than the heavy construction equipment … We have to have a very diversified group of salesmen, parts and service people to take care of all of this equipment,” Buck added.

Hyde said that LandPro’s project continues an effort that began around 2005.

“We started 16 years ago, really working on this ag, business, transportation, logistics, distribution, warehousing, heavy equipment kind of cluster right here at this intersection, right here with the Town of Batavia and the county,” Hyde said, noting that Congressman Tom Reynolds was the one “giving us a check to pay for this road and the infrastructure to go in.”

He said that ignited the growth and development that can be seen in the GCEDC’s corporate parks and on Saile Drive, north of the Thruway bridge.

“Right now, we’re almost at 400,000 square feet of new build in that 16 years, with over 400 people working here. And you guys continue that sign of excellence, and we want to thank you very much for your continued investment in Genesee County and in the Town of Batavia,” he said.

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Photo at top: Assemblyman Steven Hawley makes a his point as he speaks with LandPro Equipment personnel following today's groundbreaking ceremony. Photo at bottom: Taking part in the LandPro groundbreaking ceremony today are, from left, Paul Williams, operations manager/North; Steve Hyde, GCEDC; Patti Michalak, Town of Batavia council member; Legislator Gordon Dibble; Gregory Post, Town of Batavia supervisor; Tom Sutter, vice president/sales; Ryan Payment, vice president; Tracy Buck, president/CEO; Tim Black, vice president/aftermarket; Assemblyman Steven Hawley, and Gretchen Rosales, Elba Central School District superintendent. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: LandPro's new facility in Town of Batavia will be company's 'main hub for technology'

March 2, 2021 - 1:02pm
posted by Press Release in LandPro, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider approving incentives for a $9.2 million project at its March 4 board meeting.  

LandPro Equipment LLC is proposing to acquire and develop a 14-acre parcel to build a 50,000-square-foot facility for a full-service John Deere Agriculture and Turf Dealership. The facility would primarily be used for operations and training, with a portion of the facility used for retail.

The project proposes to create five new jobs and retain approximately 60 jobs in Genesee County.

A public hearing about the project was conducted on Feb. 25.

The GCEDC board also will consider initial applications for three community solar projects.

  • Forefront Power LLC (Elba Solar) is proposing to invest $9.7 million in a community solar project on Norton Road in the Town of Elba. The project will generate 5 MW of power and is projected to generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.  
  • Solar Liberty is proposing to invest $7.7 million in two community solar projects on Tesnow Road in the Town of Pembroke. The projects will generate 4 MW and 5 MW of power and are projected to generate approximately $856,024 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Pembroke, and the Akron Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.
February 5, 2021 - 11:36am
posted by Press Release in LandPro, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors accepted an application for incentives for a $7 million capital investment development project on 14 acres of land on West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia at its Feb. 4 board meeting.

LandPro Equipment LLC proposes to acquire and develop a 14-acre parcel on which it would build a 50,000-square-foot facility for a full-service John Deere Agriculture and Turf Dealership. The facility would primarily be used for operations and training, with a portion of the facility used for retail.

The project proposes to create up to five new jobs and retain approximately 60 jobs in Genesee County.

“We are encouraged to see more companies growing in Genesee County with the goal of expanding their operations and increasing training capacity,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “Genesee County has the workforce talent and developable properties aligned to accelerate a company’s facility construction and successful operations.”

A public hearing will be scheduled, as LandPro Equipment LLC is seeking property, sales and mortgage tax abatements totaling approximately $731,000. It is anticipated that with every $1 of public sector investment will generate a return of $7 of private sector investment.

December 15, 2020 - 10:25pm

Residents on both sides of the fence concerning a plan to place two community solar projects on land owned by Donald Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Sreet Road will have to wait a bit longer to express their views in front of the Town of Batavia Planning Board.

Planning Board Chair Kathy Jasinski said several Ellicott Street Road residents – including some who spoke out at the Genesee County Planning Board meeting last week -- were ready to voice their opinions again at tonight’s meeting via Zoom videoconferencing.

Planners are considering a proposal to place a 5-megawatt solar farm on 18.2 acres of a 65-acre parcel and a 4-megawatt system on 19.6 acres of a 71-acre parcel of farmland off Route 63, southeast of the city.

“A lot of people were on the Zoom call but I told them they were not allowed to talk tonight, but will definitely have their chance at the public hearings next month,” Jasinski said.

The public hearings for the referrals, called Trousdale Solar I and Trousdale Solar II, are scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 19.

Partridge, a planning board member, has indicated that he would abstain from any voting on the project, which is being developed by Cypress Creek Renewables LLC.

Jasinski, when asked if she thought putting two nearly 20-acre solar arrays next to each other went against the town’s zoning limitation of 20 acres, said that she sees them as two separate entities as they are 50 feet apart and have separate power connections.

“The only thing they share is an access drive,” Jasinski said, “so I really believe they are two different projects.”

At the county planning meeting, Nancy Brach of 5168 Ellicott Street Road contended that two side-by-side solar farms, at almost 40 acres, went against the parameters of the zoning regulation.

In other action, town planners:

  • Put an application from LandPro to build a storage and maintenance facility at 4554 W. Saile Drive on hold while it reaches out to other agencies who may be interested in seeking lead agency status for the State Environmental Quality Review.

Jasinski said the town planning board wants to be the lead agency, but the scope of the project requires a coordinated review, possibly including the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Transportation, and Department of Agriculture and Markets.

“I will write to them to see if they want to be involved in this process,” Jasinski said, adding that the board pushed the site plan review back to its Jan. 19 meeting.

  • Will be seeking lead agency status for Rochester Regional Health’s plan to build a four-story, 140,000-square-foot medical office building at 8103 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98).

Jasinski said a public hearing for this referral is unnecessary since a special use permit is not required on property zoned Commercial.

She said the board will put this on the agenda of its Jan. 5 meeting, while the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals will consider an area variance due to the building height on Jan. 21.

December 11, 2020 - 7:22pm

An Ellicott Street Road resident on Thursday night was advised to contact Town of Batavia council members over her objections to proposed side-by-side community solar projects on the property of a neighboring farmer that she said circumvented the town’s zoning regulations.

Speaking at the Genesee County Planning Board meeting via Zoom videoconferencing, Nancy Brach, of 5168 Ellicott Street Road, questioned the panel and Planning Director Felipe Oltramari about the validity of two (approximately) 20-acre solar arrays next to each other on land owned by Donald Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Street Road.

Brach expressed her views in the midst of a 40-minute discussion over the special use permit and area variance referrals to place a 5-megawatt solar farm on 18.2 acres of a 65-acre parcel and a 4-megawatt system on 19.6 acres of a 71-acre parcel. The projects, named Trousdale Solar I and Trousdale Solar II, are being developed for Partridge by Cypress Creek Renewables LLC.

“I understood that there was a 20-acre limit, is that correct?” Brach asked. After Oltramari answered yes, Brach said, “So, we’re putting together two 20-acre parcels, is that correct?”

Oltramari replied that “technically, there are two solar farms; they are side by side, but there are two of them.”

She proceeded to ask if they were owned by the same person and, again, Oltramari responded in the affirmative – the same landowner and the same solar company.

“So, my question is, if there is a 20-acre limit and you allow people to put parcel after parcel together, effectively, you could have 1,000 acres,” she said. “How do we prevent that? This is making a piece of property that doubles the amount of the minimum and yet we’re going ahead with it. What would keep us from having 100 acres, 200 acres, if you just let people split the property in name only?”

Acknowledging that Brach had a “valid point,” Oltramari noted that some municipalities don’t have any size limitations and some have larger than 20 acres, but 20 acres seems to be the minimum, and added that the Town of Batavia was one of the first localities to adopt a solar law.

He then said that New York State provides incentives for these types of solar projects that generate around 5 megawatts of power, before adding that a similar two-in-one type project – earmarked for a more isolated area in the Town of Pembroke – was on the evening’s referral list for a special use permit.

Undeterred, Brach, who was one of three Ellicott Street Road residents who voiced their opposition during the meeting, reiterated, “How to we protect (the 20-acre limitation) because it seems to go against how the law was designed?”

Oltramari then suggested a zoning change or at least a change in the wording would have to come from town officials, and said residents would need to petition their town board before that could happen.

Brach, who hosted a neighborhood meeting with Partridge at her home in June 2019 to convey their concerns, said the ambiguity of the zoning is what has people upset about “having a solar project put in their backyard.”

“If you say 20 acres, then two 20-acre parcels are not 20 acres, it’s 40 acres and it opens up the opportunity for 60 or 80 or 100 acres, and that’s just not honest,” she said.

Planning Board Member Jill Gould then explained that this panel makes recommendations based on whether the applications adhere to town zoning laws, and re-emphasized that complaints by Brach and others should be directed to the Town of Batavia.

Timothy Morrow and Kathy Antonelli, also of Ellicott Street Road, spoke prior to Brach.

Morrow said he wanted to know what chemicals were in the solar panels as he feared that harmful agents could seep into a large aquifer in that area and affect homeowners’ wells.

Jerry Leone, of Rochester, representing Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, said that he would provide Morrow with the findings of the environmental studies already conducted. Later on, it was indicated that the overwhelming majority of solar panels in New York are based on silicon technology (quartz or sand).

Antonelli said the solar arrays will be place “behind my house and diagonally from my property” and asked if the project would decrease the property values in the area.

“And why so close to our homes, with all of the farmland in this area?” she asked. “I don’t want to sit on my back deck and look at a solar farm.”

At the end of the debate, planners approved both solar projects by a 6-1 vote with Robert Houseknecht casting the “no” vote. The measure now goes back to the Batavia Town Planning Board, which is meeting next Tuesday, and one of the projects will also be considered by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals since an area variance is needed because the frontage is less than the minimum requirement.

Recommended modifications include obtaining a stormwater pollution prevention plan and relocating a part of the driveway and equipment pad from the middle of the array to the edge of the field or on existing laneways.

In other action, planners approved:

  • With modifications (stormwater pollution prevention plan and archaeological study), a site plan review for a LandPro sales, storage and maintenance facility at 4554 W. Saile Drive in the Town of Batavia. LandPro is a major dealer of John Deere tractors and equipment.
  • With modifications (see above), a site plan review and area variance for Rochester Regional Health’s four-story, 140,000-square-foot medical office building at 8103 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), near Call Parkway, in the Town of Batavia. The project will include the installation of a traffic signal on Route 98, connecting Call Parkway with Federal Drive.
  • A special use permit referral from Solar Liberty Energy Systems Inc. of Buffalo for solar farms generating 5.3 megawatts and 6.6 megawatts at 7984 Tesnow Road in the Town of Pembroke. The property is owned by Kreher Brothers LLC of Clarence.
  • A site plan review to relocate Precious Paws to an existing commercial building at 10571 Main St., Alexander. The applicant, Alicia Brenkus, will be converting a former pizza shop to her dog grooming business.
December 9, 2020 - 9:48am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, LandPro, Rochester Regional Health, Trousdale Solar.

Genesee County Planning Board members are in for a busy night on Thursday as 14 project referrals are on their monthly meeting agenda.

The meeting will take place via Zoom videoconferencing at 7 o’clock.

Four of the referrals -- including a site plan review for a new state-of-the-art LandPro sales, storage and maintenance facility in the Town of Batavia -- are coming to the board following initial action taken by the Town of Batavia Planning Board last week.

LandPro, dealer of John Deere tractors and equipment, is lined up to build what Paul Williams, operations manager/north, says will be the company’s “main hub for technology” at 4554 W. Saile Drive – on a 14-acre parcel just east of Vantage Equipment at the corner of Call Parkway.

“This will be a full-servicing John Deere dealership and that will include agriculture as we know it, turf, all turf products and a limited, what we call a compact construction equipment (facility),” said Williams, who is in charge of half of LandPro’s 20 stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. “Additionally, it will be our main hub for technology – our integrated solutions as we call it – GPS (Global Positioning System) and all of the fancy technology that is in our equipment.”

Williams said technology has made its way to the forefront over the past 15 to 20 years.

“It continues to grow and continues to be an extremely critical piece of our business,” he said. “The machines are now talking to us, they’re talking to John Deere at the factory and we’re getting early warning signs of failures so we can be on site before things fail.”

He said the tractors, by utilizing GPS, have the capability to be within an inch of accuracy as they drive down the rows of corn, for example.

“The technology is very, very high at this point, and it continues to grow. That’s why this facility will not only be state-of-the art and our largest shop, but it will also house our high-technology product division,” he said, adding that LandPro is partnering with Stihl and Honda products for handheld supplies and generators.

When asked if the new location would replace the John Deere stores in Oakfield and Alexander, Williams said that “eventually, they probably will (close) but we want to make sure that we can still serve the capacity of the customers in that geography … before we close those locations.”

“So, we’ve got a little bit of work to do – but that is the long-term plan,” he said.

Williams said that 60 to 65 employees will work out of the new building, which is expected to be completed in the spring or summer of 2022, with current workers in Oakfield and Alexander relocating to West Saile Drive.

He didn’t disclose the amount of investment into the facility, which shows 13,000 square feet for retail sales, 5,000 square feet for parts storage and 28,000 square feet for maintenance, but without question, it is a multimillion dollar venture.

LandPro will seek tax credits through the Genesee County Economic Development Center and grants through National Grid, Williams said.

Other highlights of Thursday’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting:

  • A site plan review and area variance for a four-story, 140,000-square-foot medical office building proposed by Rochester Regional Health at 8103 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), near Call Parkway, in the Town of Batavia. The facility will have 90,000 square feet for office space and 63 of its 360 parking spaces in a lower-level parking garage.
  • Special use permits and an area variance for a pair of solar projects named Trousdale Solar I and Trousdale Solar II at 5117 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia. The first phase is a 5-megawatt array covering 18 acres of a 65-acre parcel while the second phase is a 4-megawatt system covering 19.6 acres on a 71-acre parcel. Pending recommendation of approval (with modifications) from county planners, it will go to a public hearing conducted by the Town of Batavia Planning Board.
  • A special use permit for two ground mounted commercial solar systems, one generating 5.3 megawatts and the other generating 6.6 megawatts, at 7984 Tesnow Road in the Town of Pembroke. The applicant, Solar Liberty Energy Systems, Inc., of Buffalo, wishes to place the solar array on property owned by Kreher Brothers LLC of Clarence.
  • A site plan review to change the use from professional office space and art studio to a medical office for acupuncture and physical therapy at 10 Lake St. (Route 19) in the Village of Bergen. Documents submitted by applicants David and Anna Marie Barclay reveal a plan to use about half of the building’s lower level for their clinic, which will have four employees.
  • A site plan review to relocate Precious Paws to an existing commercial building at 10571 Main St., Alexander. Plans submitted by the applicant, Alicia Brenkus, call for slight modifications to convert a former pizza shop to the owner/operated dog grooming business.

Previously: Rochester Regional Health plans to build four-story medical office building in the Town of Batavia

December 1, 2020 - 9:41pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, LandPro, Trousdale Solar, Rochester Regional Health, UMMC.

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Rochester Regional Health is looking to extend its reach in Genesee County through the construction of a four-story, 140,000-square-foot office building at 8103 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), across the road from Federal Drive and near Call Parkway, in the Town of Batavia.

"This campus is the latest step in Rochester Regional Health’s plan to expand access to care," said Dan Ireland, president of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, which is part of the RRH system. "Over the past few years, we have opened similar multi-specialty campuses in Irondequoit, Henrietta, Webster/Penfield, and Geneva, with another campus scheduled to open in Geneseo.” 

Ireland took part in the Town of Batavia Planning Board's Zoom videoconference meeting tonight.

The project was introduced to planners by Andrew Kosa, principal associate with Clark Patterson Lee engineering firm in Rochester.

Kosa said that 90,000 square feet will be allotted for office space and that 360 parking spaces will be available – with 63 of them in a first-floor parking garage.

The applicant will need approval of its site plan along with an area variance related to the height of the building and a negative declaration on a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) to proceed with the project.

Kosa was joined on the call by Michael Owen, vice president, Healthcare Construction for RRH; Michelle Trott of CPL principal for the project, and Thomas Bock, civil engineer and lead engineer for the site plan.

“We’ve completed a traffic study … showing mitigation for the turn lanes out of the entrance driveway, and also made submission to the New York State Department of Transportation on Nov. 12 to get its preliminary review of the plan and traffic study,” Kosa added.

Town planners voted to seek lead agency for the SEQR, and advised that the project will have to be referred to the Genesee County Planning Board for its recommendation and then to the Town Zoning Board of Appeals (for the area variance).

Town Engineer Steve Mountain mentioned that this is a tax-exempt project that offers much in the way of economic benefit to the municipality.

“Through the SEQR process we have looked at the economic impacts and the best cost benefits … and there are a lot of benefits to the project,” he said.

Ireland said it is a prime opportunity for RRH to create additional space for medical purposes.

“There’s a substantial need for that in our community, and really to consolidate some of the medical specialty practices as well as grow medical specialties in the community that don’t exist today,” he said. "(This is) bringing services under one area and easily accessible to the surrounding region, which will draw patients into the area as well as bringing needed providers into the area."

Ireland added that RHH will provide information about the specific services as the project progresses.

Solar Project Moves Forward

Town planners also approved seeking lead agency status for a SEQR on a two-phase community solar project on property owned by Don Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Street Road.

Partridge, a member of the planning board, recused himself on all matters connected to the venture, which is proceeding as Trousdale Solar I and Trousdale Solar II.

The first phase is a 5-megawatt array covering 20 acres of a 65-acre parcel while the second phase is a 4-megawatt system covering 20 acres on a 71-acre parcel, said Jerry Leone of Rochester, representing Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, project developer.

Leone said that area residents will be able to purchase electricity as a result of the system at a better price than what they get through National Grid.

“They don’t have to be connected to it physically – it would be delivered to you through National Grid in a similar way that you purchase electricity now, and that electricity would be offered at a discount from what you currently pay,” he advised.

He said that the National Grid service along the road is capable of handling the project, a bifacial system that generates power on both the front and back of the solar panels.

“The panels will be no higher than 12 feet once installed … and there are no wetlands and some tree removal,” Leone said. “We’re not seeking any variances and have followed appropriate setbacks as required.”

Leone also offered that his company has a partnership with the Genesee County Economic Development Center and a partnership with Cornell University for pollinator species – “plantings and grass that are friendly to bees and the like.”

Planners will need to schedule a public hearing on the application, likely several weeks away, after it goes before the Genesee County Planning Board on Dec. 10.

LandPro to Construct Facility

Andrew Schmieder of Alexander, project designer, reported the intention of LandPro – a John Deere sales and service company – to build a sales, storage and maintenance facility at 4554 W. Saile Drive, near the Volvo Rents equipment building.

He said the LandPro has committed to 13,000 square feet of retail sales area, 5,000 square feet for parts storage, and a 28,000 square feet to perform maintenance.

“They primarily will be servicing turf and agricultural equipment,” he said, adding that he doesn’t anticipate a lot of traffic coming in and out of the area.

The applicant is seeking approval of its site plan, which also will be reviewed by county planners on Dec. 10.

Project Manager David Ciurzynski of Attica said LandPro will be seeking tax abatements from the GCEDC. Paul Williams of Baldwinsville, operations manager for LandPro, also was on the Zoom call.

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Architect renderings courtesy of Genesee County Planning Department. Top photos, two views of Rochester Regional Health building; bottom photo, LandPro building. 

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