#NewBFLO Developments: Planing Mill

NewBFLO-04_07_14-PlaningMill

The original site of the E.M. Hager & Sons Planing Mill and former Spaghetti Warehouse at 141 Elm is undergoing $8.1M in renovations. This adaptive-reuse project, aided by tax incentives from Erie County Industrial Development Agency will preserve historic features of the property while using solar panels to power the building.

Developer TM Montante Development is converting the building into 22 market-rate, loft-style apartments and first-floor commercial space.

C&S Companies, an engineering firm based in Syracuse NY, will be the anchor commercial tenant. C&S will move its Buffalo offices from 90 Broadway to the Planing Mill.

Go to Mapping Downtown Buffalo’s Development for more information on developments in Buffalo, NY.

Watch for #NewBFLO on our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

#NewBFLO Developments: the Hub

NewBFLO-04_07_14-HUB (4)

Work is underway at 145 and 149 Swan Street as the two buildings are rehabilitated. Dubbed the Apartments at the HUB, the two historic buildings will house 50 new apartments and first floor retail in original storefront space. This will all be done with a bicycle them, hence the name “the HUB”. The buildings are being developed by architect/developer Jake Schneider and his team at Schneider Design. The $13.5 million project is utilizing historic tax credits with historic review and approval services provided by Preservation Studios.

First Floor Retail:

Three bicycle-related commercial tenants will have storefronts at the Hub and a bicycle sculpture will be featured on on the corner of Michigan and Swan along with ample bike racks. Commercial tenants will include:

  • A fitness center dedicated to cyclists
  • A Pub called the Handle Bar at the Hub
  •  The Bike Shop, an expansion outlet of the Bike Shop located in East Aurora

Go to Mapping Downtown Buffalo’s Development for more information on developments in Buffalo, NY.

Watch for #NewBFLO on our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Buffalo Billion Momentum

by Tom Kucharski, president and CEO

It’s been two years since New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the allocation of a billion-dollar investment – the “Buffalo Billion” – during his January 2012 “State of the State” address.Buffalo Billion Logo 2

It could have been just another political maneuver. But this time was different.

Today, that promise is coming to fruition with vigorous development and unprecedented job growth in Buffalo Niagara. The Buffalo Billion:

  • Is a strategy – not a silver bullet – that rewards growth-oriented development in focused, forward-looking fields like genomics, clean energy and advanced manufacturing and results in progressive projects like RiverBend
  • Wraps training and education around high-skill jobs, via the Buffalo Niagara Advanced Training Institute, to ensure our workforce is ready when expanding and relocating businesses open their doors here
  • Promotes opportunities for entrepreneurs through high-stakes competition for new ideas and new businesses – like 43North, with $5 million in prizes
  • Leverages public funds to deliver exponential private investment while ensuring that local and state entities retain the power to direct the region’s vision and growth

And we have tremendous advantages that other regions only dream of:

  • Central proximity to major U.S. cities as well as a shared border with our country’s leading trade partner, Canada
  • Low-cost energy available to power high-tech manufacturing and computing
    Affordable commercial and residential real estate
  • Outstanding entertainment, arts and culture and vibrant colleges and universities
  • The collective support and buy-in of our region’s and our state’s government, for-profit and community-based leaders

We’ve got all this – backed by a billion bucks.

Already, over $300 million has been awarded to businesses, higher education and research, and special projects that enhance quality of life and increase tourism and that will produce thousands of jobs in life sciences, clean energy, digital arts and sciences, and more.

And there’s nearly $700 million in the new State budget ready for investment.

Could your business be next? Contact Buffalo Niagara Enterprise today to learn more about opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region.

#NewBFLO Developments: Tishman Building

Our recent blog post, Mapping Downtown Buffalo’s Development, provides an overview of the numerous development projects happening in downtown Buffalo. The map shows projects in various stages – proposed, in construction and completed. #NewBFLO Developments, a weekly blog series, will highlight projects either recently completed or scheduled to be completed in 2014.

Watch for #NewBFLO on our Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tishman Building

The Amherst-based Hamister Group has begun development on the 20-story, 180,000-square-foot Tishman building, located at 447 Main St. This is the 8th largest project currently under construction. Tishman, once the corporate headquarters for National Fuel Gas, has be largely vacant for the past decade.

Upon completion the Tishman building’s first 14 floors will be occupied by a 123-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel that will include such amenities as private meeting rooms, a health club and lap pool.As many as 18 high-end, upscale apartments are planned for floors 15 to 17 and the Hamister Group’s corporate office will occupy the top three floors.

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Are You Right for Buffalo? Thank you!

So many people were generous with their locations and time in the making of Are You Right for Buffalo? Thank you for your help promoting Buffalo:

John Paget and fabulous crew of Paget Films, Block Club, Larkin Square, Buffalo Harbor Kayak, WNYBAC, Sun Restaurant, Healthy Zone Rink, Anchor Bar, Lexington Co-op, Liberty Hound, Canalside, Tabree, Bistro Europa, Megan Norris, Erin Habes, Bonnie Jean Taylor (wonderful host), Seamus (the wingman), and Chuck and Bill Banas the “twins”…Thanks so much to all!

Buffalo’s Top Projects, Ranked by Investment

Info graphic. The top 10 development projects in downtown Buffalo, NY (proposed, under construction and completed) ranked by investment totals an impressive $1,709,000,000.

  • 4 currently under construction, 4 recently completed, 2 more proposed/moving forward
  • Top 3 are located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC); remaining are throughout downtown Buffalo
  • Represent a good mix of uses such as medical, tourism/hospitality, federal , office and mixed use

Buffalo Niagara Development dec2013

From Rusty to Radiant: Buffalo’s Transformation

Read Buffalo Niagara’s story as recently featured in TrustBelt, a platform that focuses on telling the story of the economic resurgence of the Greater Midwest Region of the USA.

Buffalo, NY Photograph by Douglas Levere

Buffalo, NY Photograph by Douglas Levere

From Rusty to Radiant

Silver bullets don’t bring shine back – but years of hard work can, and nowhere is this more evident than in Buffalo Niagara. Here, a spirit of collaboration emanates from a shared vision, with strategic goals for business and community development that are fueled by wind, water and more than $8.1 billion in public and private investment over the last five years.

A new Buffalo Niagara is rapidly taking shape: It’s a region enjoying success today and positioned for long-term growth tomorrow in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and biotechnologies, finance, education, advanced agriculture – all within one of the most affordable and enjoyable regions of the country.

A Vision for the Future, Realized Today

A driving force behind the region’s remarkable resurgence has been the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). Conceived in 2003 with a 20-year master plan focused on bioinformatics, life sciences, clinical care, innovation, and research, the BNMC’s goals were achieved in only eight years – thanks to collaborative public-private partnerships supported by essential seed funding and streamlined processes to get new projects off the ground.

As a result, state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary entities are having a tremendous impact on Buffalo Niagara’s economy:

  • more than $1.5 billion invested, including the relocation of the highly ranked University at Buffalo medical school to the BNMC
  • 5,000 jobs created or relocated to this innovation hub since 2003
  • another 5,000-7,000 more jobs expected in the next five years

A More Diversified Region, a More Secure Future

While the success of the BNMC has been unprecedented, Buffalo Niagara’s business, government, education, non-profit and philanthropic leaders learned long ago that economic diversification is critical for sustained strength. That’s why Buffalo Niagara’s growth isn’t limited to one economic engine. Instead, a high level of creative cooperation is resulting in a total evolution of the region’s economy, with another $1.5 billion in projects underway in the City of Buffalo’s central business district and the waterfront.

From California’s Silicon Valley to Canada, and from life sciences technology to shipping, businesses like Geico, Yahoo, Greenpac, Welded Tube of Canada, and Alpina are relocating and expanding here because Buffalo Niagara offers everything they need to succeed: a skilled and dedicated workforce, highly competitive commercial and industrial real estate costs, low-cost energy, research and development partnerships, proximity to numerous major North American cities and a vast transportation network for imports, exports and cross-continental shipping. The region also offers reasonable business development costs and easy access to major markets like New York, Chicago, Boston and Toronto without the hassles or high costs of locating in major metropolitan areas.

The region’s slow-but-steady growth over the last decade also meant that while other areas experienced “boom and bust” economies, Buffalo Niagara’s housing market continued to strengthen and our employment rates remained stable. In addition, our strong bi-national business ties and our proximity to Canada’s largest city benefited our region in everything from retail to restaurants to manufacturing.

And, thanks to Buffalo Niagara’s geography – within the largest freshwater basin in the world and surrounded by two Great Lakes and the mighty Niagara River – the region is uniquely positioned to support forward-looking energy production, like wind and solar energy, and to supply inexpensive hydroelectric power to new and expanding manufacturers in Buffalo Niagara.

Growth Fueled by State-Level Support

In 2012, New York State pledged $1 billion in state funding for growth in key industries and to leverage an additional $5 billion in private investment. This unprecedented state commitment to the continued revitalization of the western New York economy means that new and relocating businesses get the support they need for companies to take root and grow. Investments from the “Buffalo Billion” are decided through collaborations like the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, with input from the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) and other partners and will continue to be for several years to come.

Further fueling this growth is the Start-Up NY initiative, in which businesses opening or expanding in select economic development zones – determined largely by proximity to New York’s remarkable higher education institutions – operate tax-free for 10 years, offering extraordinary opportunities for partnerships between Buffalo Niagara’s numerous colleges and universities and business. Continue reading

Buffalo Niagara In the News

Industry publications and national media are taking note of developments and opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region. Take a look at some of the latest features:Buffalo Niagara Press nov2013

Welcome Nulife Glass – NY’s First CRT Recycler

Nulife Glass Furnace in Kent, England

Nulife Glass Furnace in Kent, England

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

This past year, I had the pleasure of working with UK-based  Nulife Glass, and particularly owner and founder Simon Greer, as they established their first U.S.-based operations and introduced their ground-breaking recycling technology to North America.  The following is their story of US expansion with links to information about their unique technology.

Project Background:

Nulife Glass, a highly specialized recycling company based in Manchester, England has developed a unique method to recycle the leaded glass found in Cathode Ray Tubes, or CRT’s (glass components commonly found in older style televisions and computer monitors). This technology is the first of its kind, and has yet to be used in the U.S.

A growing market awaits Nulife, as its technology solves a rapidly growing problem in the electronics recycling industry. Sweeping changes in flat screen technologies have made most CRT products obsolete, causing glass waste materials to accumulate in massive stockpiles. Previously, CRT glass was recycled with relative ease into new CRTs; but today, there are nearly no new CRT products being manufactured. CRT glass contains lead oxide; Nulife’s proprietary technology extracts the metallic lead from the glass which is immediately ready for re-sale to the metal markets and the remaining recycled glass can safely be used in other products.

Project Problem:

Nulife was looking to bring its new technology to the North American market with three to four locations geographically dispersed, one being in the Northeast. The company was drawn to the Buffalo Niagara region due the opportunity for an allocation of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The recycling process uses an electrically heated furnace which consumes a large amount of power, making this Nulife’s most expensive overhead cost. They are also a steward of the environment and green technology. The company practices this ideal in every aspect of its recycling process when possible, making hydropower extremely attractive. Nulife also needed to find a building suited to their manufacturing needs and in a location that could easily access a supply of CRT Glass.

Project Solution:

The largest hurdle to the project occurring in Buffalo Niagara was the company’s ability to navigate state regulatory agencies. Because Nulife’s technology is new and the first of its kind in the U.S., New York State’s regulatory bodies needed to evaluate the potential impact of the company’s operation. With BNE’s help, Nulife was able to move forward with their project, as the company demonstrated that its recycling process would have no negative effects on the environment. BNE also provided assistance with site selection, access to incentives and professional service providers.

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the county’s Department of Economic Development and the Town of Sheridan also played important roles in site selection and assisted the company with the permitting process for their new facility.

Nulife will invest $3.7 million to renovate a 50,000 square foot manufacturing plant in the Town of Sheridan where they will create 25 new jobs.

Read about Nulife’s road to New York : http://www.ce.org/Blog/Articles/2013/April/World%E2%80%99s-First-CRT-Recycler-Coming-to-New-York.aspx

Read about Nulife’s technology: http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-13/issue-2/features/ray-of-light-for-crt-recycling.html

Media Tour Shows a Region United

by Jenna Kavanaugh, Marketing Director

Last month,IMG_0552 our region was fortunate to host several journalists from various target industry publications. We love showing off our region, introducing people to our business community and cultural assets — including their first cup of Spot Coffee and the many excellent local restaurants.

We documented our most recent media tour and over the next few weeks intend to share several of the photos on our blog.

The first stop on our last tour was Larkin at Exchange where we met with Howard Zemsky, Managing Partner, Larkin Development Group, Co-Chair, Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and Christina Orsi, Regional Director, Empire State Development Western New York.

Larkin is an exciting place to kick off a tour because the transformation is incredibly pronounced, the story is inspiring and the community is vibrant — combining the best of business and accessible public space. While Howard Zemsky shared the Larkin story and provided a tour, most of the discussion revolved around Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion commitment, the strategies being implemented to maximize that commitment, and the ongoing efforts of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (REDC).IMG_0539

Workforce stole center stage in this discussion. While WNY has long been recognized as a region with a skilled, productive workforce we have an aging population.  Several efforts are underway to help transition our workforce, especially in the advanced manufacturing industry sector. Initiatives include Dream It, Do It!, a WNY Skills Broker, Advanced Buffalo Workforce Pilot and Workforce Training Center.

WNY REDC recently released their 2013 Progress Report which touches on some of the topics discussed during the interview.

We are clearly a region with a plan. When discussing the assets of our community the region’s business leaders and elected officials highlighted the same initiatives, characterized the region using the same statics and complimented each other’s efforts — emphasizing that collaboration has been key to our recent success and will remain so in the future.