Adam's Mark gets sales tax breaksby bkurtz
By David Robinson
NEWS BUSINESS REPORTER
The owners of Adam's Mark Hotel in Buffalo are getting $470,000 in sales tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for the second stage of its upgrade project for the downtown hotel.
WNY Lodging, which acquired Adam's Mark last year, plans to spend $5.6 million to replace the carpeting, wallpaper and furniture in all of the hotel's 486 guest rooms and corridors, as well as install new light fixtures.
The upgrade is the second phase of a project that began last year, when the hotel received a new telephone and Internet system, along with a new guest-room lock system, new parking-garage equipment and shower improvements. Those $700,000 in upgrades received $61,250 in sales tax breaks through the IDA last year.
The improvements are part of a series of changes that were required for WNY Lodging to obtain a Crowne Plaza franchise for the hotel.
A third phase of the project would upgrade the hotel's convention center facilities, said Karen Fiala, the IDA's assistant treasurer.
The hotel currently employs 247 people, including 137 full-time employees and 110 part-time workers. The project is expected to create 12 new jobs over the next two years.
The IDA also approved $816,000 in tax breaks for Anderson Equipment Co., which is moving its construction equipment distribution business from Great Arrow Drive in Buffalo to the former Syracuse Supply building in the Town of Tonawanda.
The IDA board unanimously approved the $6.7 million project after delaying action on the plan last month when Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown protested that the city did not receive sufficient advance notice of the company's plan to move.
Projects involving the move of a company from one local community to another must be approved by the chief executive of the municipality losing the business, typically after a process that involves a search for suitable locations within that municipality.
Brown, who did not attend Monday's meeting, dropped his objections to the move after meeting with Anderson executives, IDA officials said.
Anderson, which acquired the distribution business in Buffalo in 1996 through its acquisition of Rupp Rental and Sales, will receive $816,000 in property, sales and mortgage tax breaks for the move, which company officials said is needed to remain competitive.
The city site requires customers to navigate congested streets with flatbed trucks, while the Town of Tonawanda site, at 2140 Military Road, has easy access to the Youngmann Highway.
Wayne Schueing, Anderson's general manager of product support, said the company is in discussions with "quite a few" potential buyers for the Buffalo site. "We expect it to be sold very quickly," he said.