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by chocieni
Mon, Sep 19th 2011 12:00 pm


Agency Also Picks First Niagara as its Bank and Approves an $800,000 Loan for Perry's Ice Cream

Buffalo, NY - The Erie County Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors today approved incentive packages totaling $669,300 local industrial, retail and hospitality projects.


Gemcor II, LLC received $583,300 in sales, property and mortgage recording tax abatements to aid its $3.13 million plant expansion. The 74-year-old West Seneca manufacturing firm plans to construct a 27,000-square-foot addition to its facility at 100 Gemcor Drive. 


The company, which produces rivets and other fastening components used primarily in the aerospace and aviation industries, is expanding its current 80,000-square-foot plant in response to increased demand for its products. The new wing will house a heavy-duty crane and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.


Gemcor anticipates increasing its 55-person workforce by 11 over the next two years.


The ECIDA board also agreed on a $48,000 sales and mortgage recording tax abatement for developer Buffalo David Pawlik to demolish a long-vacant commercial building at 2137 Seneca Street to make way for construction of a new retail structure. The property, the site of a former dry cleaning facility has undergone a major environmental cleanup. The IDA benefits will help offset the additional costs associated with the development of the brownfield site, which is estimated at over $60,000.


The $1 million project will bring a 9,100-square-foot Family Dollar store to the site. Opening of the store will create eight, full-time and four, part-time jobs.


The agency board also approved $38,000 in sales tax abatements for the owners of the Sleep Inn Buffalo Airport, Inc.  Paul and James Stephen plan a $550,000 overhaul of the hotel at 100 Holtz Road, in Cheektowaga. 


The project includes updating of all rooms, the lobby and common areas, with new carpeting and furniture throughout the Sleep Inn.

The hotel plans to create two, full-time and three part-time jobs as a result of the extensive renovations. 


The board also awarded its prime deposit banking business, approximately $15 million annually, to First Niagara Financial Corporation.  The ECIDA and its sister entities, the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and the Industrial Land Development Corporation (ILDC), issued a joint request for proposals to the 10 largest area banks and received five bids.


First Niagara was selected after a process that included scoring of all the bidding banks' proposed account structures, public sector banking experience, branch locations and qualifications of personnel.  First Niagara was also selected for offering the highest interest rate, 'no service charge' and its recent commitment to the community via the acquisition of HSBC Bank USA's bank branches.


First Niagara will replace M&T Bank, which has handled the agencies' banking since 2001.  M&T, KeyBank, Citizens Bank and Bank of America also submitted bids.


In other action, the board approved a request by Kaleida Health Systems to lease the Judge Joseph S. Mattina Community Health Center on Niagara Street in Buffalo to the Northwest Buffalo Community Health Care Center.  In August, Kaleida notified state officials it planned to shutter the facility on November 1 due to deficits related to reimbursement rates.  The ECIDA is required to approve the change in tenants which will pave the way for the clinic to be operated by Northwest Community Health Center, maintaining needed health care services for the west side community.


The RDC board also approved an $800,000 low interest loan for Perry's Ice Cream of Akron.  The ice cream company received a $2 million loan from the agency in 2007, which has a current balance of $1.2 million.  The treat maker will use the new $800,000 cash infusion for working capital to support efforts to increase distribution operations.

Perry's is investing $6.4 million to the overall effort which includes delivery of non-ice cream snacks for other manufacturers via its distribution channels.


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