If We Develop It

The latest report from the CBRE Buffalo office sets industrial vacancy rates at a record-low, 4.5%. On the plus side, we can celebrate the fact that there is growing interest in relocating or expanding a business in Buffalo Niagara.  On the minus side, our inventory of existing commercial real estate, especially in the industrial market, is shrinking.  Large, modern, open facilities with high ceilings and other industrial amenities are difficult to identify in any western New York market. Now is the time for local developers to turn their attention to this pressing lack of industrial inventory.

Spec space can be challenging and partially leased space has been difficult to impossible to finance since the recession. While spec space can be a risky and costly endeavor, properly done, it could benefit both the developer and the Buffalo-Niagara region.

Preparing an industrial site for development can take months, maybe years. This means looking both within, and beyond, the city limits, identifying potential parcels that will suit a manufacturing business’s substantial needs — like access to transportation, low cost power, water, parking and more.

The recent spotlight on Buffalo Niagara has led to even more attention from site selectors. Thanks to our industrial past, there is an available and affordable workforce, attractive to out-of-market manufacturers. But without the real estate, our region is going to miss out on golden opportunities that translate to jobs lost for both younger and older workers.

by Steve Blake, CCIM  Partner, CBRE|Buffalo


UB CMI – Connecting Advanced Manufacturers to Solutions

Manufacturing remains the third largest employment sector in Buffalo Niagara, representing 50,000 employees and $6.3 billion in gross regional product. To grow and remain competitive, companies require assistance and assets to innovate, update their business models, develop new products to enter emerging markets, and enhance manufacturing capabilities.

Established in 2012, UB’s NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI) is a community-based resource to help manufacturing firms grow. With a designated business development executive and more than 50 affiliated faculty members, CMI has assisted more than 100 companies in Buffalo Niagara. Across the industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and life sciences, CMI facilitates access to shared equipment, high-performance computing, funding sources and exceptional research and development capabilities.

CMI works with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 – they understand the processes, products, and programs that drive success. As business development executive, Chris Janson explains,

“Each company and opportunity is unique. When they explain their situation we listen and then customize a solution that best fits their needs. Every day I connect companies with UB’s vast R&D assets and cultivate relationships between industry and the material scientists who are making the next great breakthroughs in technology. And, if we don’t have the right capabilities in-house, we will connect them with valuable members of the ecosystem and collaborative resources.”

Buffalo Niagara offers many benefits to advanced manufacturers such as skilled workforce and low-cost power, but tools like CMI elevate the strength of our region.  CMI, along with Insyte Consulting, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, and EWI is a leading partner in Buffalo Manufacturing Works, one of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiatives. Together, they will help companies with applied R&D, market expansion, and process improvement. BNE proudly promotes these resources to companies looking to expand here; demonstrating our region’s commitment and expertise in this industry.

If you are ready to develop or improve your products and services and bring your industry-changing ideas to market contact:

Christopher Janson

Business Development Executive



Watch this video to discover what the CMI can do for you:

by Jenna Kavanaugh, BNE Marketing Director

WNY NYSCAR Awards Highlights Regional Momentum

A staple in Buffalo’s commercial real estate community is the annual awards dinner for the WNY Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors (WNYNYSCAR). The best attended event across all of New York’s regional groups, the dinner allows for brokers, realtors, and commercial real estate service providers the opportunity to network and honor their peers. This year’s awards ceremony took place just over a week ago and reflected the great opportunity and momentum happening in Buffalo’s real estate community. Winners included:

  • Meritorious Service Award: Michael Schmand, Buffalo Place Inc. executive director. Chosen for his, and Buffalo Place’s, dedication to make Buffalo’s central business district a thriving neighborhood with amenities and activities for all to enjoy.
  • Stuart Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award: V. Jeffrey LiPuma, immediate past managing director of the CBRE/Buffalo, for his tireless work to rebrand and raise the profile of the commercial real estate Realtor in western New York.
  • Largest Sale of the year ($): Dorothy Stahlnecker, MJ Peterson Commercial Real Estate for brokering the deal to sell the Williamtowne and Garden Village Apartments in Cheektowaga for $40,000,000.
  • Largest Lease of the Year ($): David Schiller, Pyramid Brokerage Co. of Buffalo for the long-term lease he secured for KeyBank moving its offices into 250 Delaware Ave., also the soon-to-be headquarter location for Delaware North.
  • Transaction Volume Award (Team): Patricia Collins and Eric Tudor, Coldwell Banker Commercial Meridian
  • Transaction Volume Award (Individual): Joseph Deck, RealtyUSA Commercial

Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you for making the Buffalo-Niagara commercial real estate community so dynamic!

by Christopher Finn, Research Manager

It’s Happening Now! Check out the New Buffalo

This short video (Paget Films) shows some of Buffalo Niagara’s newest developments and captures the region’s momentum and energy. Nice job Western New York Regional Council and ESDC. Check it out!

ConServe’s Workforce Doubles with Buffalo Niagara Expansion

In every sense of the word, January 15, 2015 was a busy day for Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE), as team members attended Grand Opening festivities for not one, but two local companies: ConServe and Bak USA!

ConServe Grand Opening

ConServe Grand Opening

While Bak USA is a brand new start-up company located in downtown Buffalo, ConServe celebrated its 30th anniversary while unveiling a new facility located in the Cheektowaga’s Apple Tree Business Park.  Headquartered in nearby Fairport, NY, ConServe is a leading provider of accounts receivable management and innovative recovery solutions for colleges and universities, government agencies and private lenders.  BNE helped ConServe’s expansion into Buffalo Niagara back in 2009.

At that time, the company employed around 100 people at its former location on Walden Avenue in the Town of Lancaster.  Its new facility, with 25,000 square feet of office space, will be able to accommodate 250 employees and more than double its size.  This is a result of its success in the Buffalo Niagara marketplace and a testament to the quality of our region’s workforce.

In fact ConServe’s President, Mark Davitt, credited the region’s “extensive pool of talented solution-oriented professionals and a booming economy” for the company’s prosperity.  BNE has been marketing the region’s available and skilled workforce since its inception, and companies like ConServe appreciate what that can mean to their bottom line.

While ConServe’s new facility is impressive and truly something to celebrate, the most important message behind the expansion is that they are hiring! ConServe will be adding 100 new jobs with an average yearly salary of $50,000.  For further information on these new positions, visit www.conserve-arm.com.

by Megan Savage, Marketing Communications Specialist

Yancey’s Fancy is ‘Hot Stuff’ in Western New York

Guest blog by Rachael Tabelski, Genesee County Economic Development Center


August 2014, Yancey Fancy 112,000 sq. ft. facility expansion in progress.

Yancey’s Fancy, an artisan cheese manufacturer, continues to be one of Western New York’s most prominent food manufacturing companies.  Yancey’s, formerly Kutters Cheese, has been operating as a premier cheese maker in Western New York since the post-World War I era.  Limburger was the first cheese offered from the company and today their award winning products spans over 50 varieties of flavored and natural cheeses.

In 2014 Yancey’s announced an expansion of their existing facility.  The company is building a new 112,000 sq. ft. building at the Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke, NY.  Currently the company employees over 100 workers and with this expansion they project 50 new jobs will be added.

To learn more about Buffalo East Technology Park visit the real estate listing on BuffaloNiagaraCLS.com. To learn more about the dairy industry in Buffalo Niagara visit BuffaloNiagara.org and view maps, brochures and more.


Marketing Tool Provides In-depth Intelligence on Potential Investors

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise recently secured access to fDi Markets, which is a service of the Financial Times. It is a comprehensive online database of cross-border greenfield investments, covering the last decade in all countries and sectors worldwide. This service provides access to real-time monitoring of investment projects, capital investment and job creation. It also tracks and profiles companies investing overseas, and conducts in-depth analysis to uncover trends.

fDi Markets will enable us to:

  • Improve lead generation/identify target companies by allowing BNE to develop a robust pipeline of potential investors within our target sectors and receive instant alerts on companies that are planning to invest abroad.
  • Profile active investors through its profiles of over 60,000 active investors. This will allow BNE to better understand a company’s cross-border investment strategy: where they have invested to date; the types of projects they have invested in; key contact people within the organization and future expansion plans.
  • Develop our investment promotion strategy using trends analysis to understand the size, potential and composition of source markets and sectors.  This will enable BNE to develop strategies on the actual size and growth of the greenfield market.
  • Produce in-depth analysis of key markets and sectors through fDi’s comprehensive trend analysis of each location and sector that BNE targets – including who the key investors are, motives driving investment, key competitors, and more.
  • Evaluate our performance against competitors and “best in class” locations using the number and size of projects secured. We will use this information to benchmark our performance against both competing and “best in class” locations within key sectors and source markets.
  • Enhance our marketing and public relations efforts by using fDi Markets’ data in our press releases and marketing materials.
  • Prepare for overseas investment missions by generating a list of target companies to meet with while on overseas investment missions via fDi’s extensive database.

We believe that the intelligence and research provided by fDi will be a great enhancement to our marketing efforts.  For more information on their comprehensive services, visit www.fdimarkets.com.

By Graham Smith, BNE Research Director

Bright Buffalo Niagara Shines Light on Entrepreneurship

On October 29, 2014, during 43North Week, a spotlight event promoting investment, partnership and entrepreneurship was held at the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. In collaboration with 43North, Bright Buffalo Niagara invited 43North semifinalists from across the globe to exhibit at the Bright Buffalo Semifinalist Meet-Up and mix and mingle with venture capitalist and angel investors.

The results equal success:

Bright Stats


Since 2009, Bright Buffalo Niagara has partnered with local investors and entrepreneurs to nurture economic growth in Western New York. Bright works to serve software/IT, medical devices, biotech, drug development and manufacturing industry sectors. To date, Bright participants have raised more than $23M in funding. Learn more at BrightBuffaloNiagara.com

Global NY Helps Advance Western New York’s Economy

In his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo introduced Global NY to Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. Global NY has two complementary economic growth objectives: to attract international investment and jobs and to provide New York businesses with the tools and assistance they need to export their products to the international marketplace.

The REDCs were asked to develop and implement Global Marketing and Export Strategies, incorporating foreign trade and investment approaches into regional planning efforts. BNE President and CEO, Thomas Kucharski is chair of the Western New York Global NY initiative. Chris Scalisi of World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara and BNE’s Graham Smith assisted Empire State Development’s WNY regional office with drafting the following regional strategies for increasing exports and foreign direct investments (FDI) in WNY:

• Retain international university graduates and leverage their personal networks to attract trade and investment.

• Leverage the growing foreign-born population to attract FDI and develop new business relationships in overseas countries.

• Identify the business intelligence and international export needs of regional companies to discover trade and reverse missions.

• Create an international marketing brand that focuses on available assets, excess capacity, and international brokerage support services already available across Upstate NY.

• Unite the region around a competitive identity and communicate a consistent message to the world.

• Generate high quality business attraction leads that would not have considered the region otherwise.

• Make the location decision process for foreign companies easy and risk-free.

• Brand and market Upstate NY as a trade gateway to attract overseas trade and investment.

The initial phase in executing this plan will engage regional stakeholders to provide input and expertise. The second phase will include analyzing our brand and how it plays in the global marketplace. We will use that knowledge to target European and Asian markets where we have had success in the past. The final phase will fully implement the strategies and identify growth markets and industries. Western New York is well positioned to be a competitive global force, a center for exports and foreign direct investment.

By Graham Smith, BNE Research Director

Next Generation Manufacturing & Workforce Development

Several innovative programs have been or will be launched in Western New York designed to enhance and improve the talent pool for regional employers, especially manufacturers, for years to come. These new workforce development programs bolster training efforts available at community colleges as well as the vocational programs offered through Buffalo Public Schools and Erie 1 BOCES.

Here are the workforce development programs that will be game-changers for manufacturers relocating to Buffalo Niagara.

Dream It, Do It WNY’s (http://www.didiwny.com/) mission is to introduce middle and high school students to careers in manufacturing and they’ve been successfully doing so for several years. Its goal is for more young students to choose education paths that will guide them into skilled trades and other critical support roles necessary for advanced manufacturers. Ideally, it will result in a deeper talent pool as these students graduate through the system. Dream it, Do it WNY encompasses school districts, colleges and manufacturers in Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

Already underway, and projected to increase in size and scope over the next five years, is the Buffalo Manufacturing Works. The facility will “provide technology solutions to companies across the manufacturing industry through world-class engineering support, research and design, training and strategic services” (http://buffalomanufacturingworks.com/). The Manufacturing Works is partially funded by a $45 million investment by New York State as part of the “Buffalo Billion” pledge from Governor Andrew Cuomo and will help manufacturers to research and innovate new products, improve productivity through “process excellence,” develop new export markets for their products and cultivate a highly skilled workforce.

Currently in the planning phase, the Regional Workforce Advancement Center (http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2013/05/02/manufacturing-training-center.html) will open in Buffalo thanks to additional investment from New York State. This facility will be exclusively focused on workforce development, especially the replacement of thousands of baby boomer employees who will retire over the next several years.

These are exciting times for the next generation of skilled workers as well as adults looking for new opportunities in tomorrow’s manufacturing jobs.