#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.

Mapping Downtown Buffalo’s Development

by Christopher Finn, Research Manager

In the years ahead, 2014 will be viewed as a milestone in Buffalo’s history.

-The year that development plans and proposals turned to cranes and steel.

-The year that saw the commencement or continued construction of projects that altered the future of the western New York region.Buffalo, NY Development on the Rise!

These projects were not achieved by happenstance, but through decades of hard work and persistence from local stakeholders, built from the foundation of other significant development ventures that came before.

From Buffalo Billion Initiatives, (eg – High Tech Park @ Riverbend and IBM’s announcement) to HARBORcenter; from the University at Buffalo’s Medical School to Canalside, Buffalo’s development is occurring organically and with great diversity.

Our future is now and it’s the culmination of a development strategy rooted in unprecedented cooperation between public and private entities, community organizations and every level of government.

In an effort to chronicle this momentum, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise has updated our downtown developments maps. We consider this an ongoing effort, with updates occurring regularly, so input is always welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with observations, additions, or edits.

STATUS, Downtown Buffalo Development Projects (Completed, Under Construction and Proposed)

TYPE, Downtown Buffalo Development Projects (Medical/Medical R&D, Mixed Use, Office, Other, Residential and Tourism/Hospitality)

START-UP NY Tax Free Zones Program Launches (Blog II)

With the New Year upon us, New York State’s most exciting tax incentive program in recent memory has officially begun. On January 1, 2014, START-UP NY went into effect, allowing companies to partner with colleges and universities to create partnerships that allow these businesses, and their owners and employees, to operate completely tax free for a ten-year period.

Many have heard something about the program, but may have many questions about which businesses are eligible, what an affiliation with a college or university must look like, how to apply, and more. I wrote an earlier blog outlining the basics of the program. Now, I’ll do my best to offer some clarity to the process a company can anticipate should it seek to take advantage of this exciting new program.

An eligible company should start by thinking about which college or university with which it would like to affiliate. For some companies, this might be a simple process, but for many others, they may have never considered partnering with an academic institution. Well, in order to participate in the program, each school must submit and publish a plan that outlines the specific industries it is targeting for this program. Here in Buffalo Niagara, I am working with each participating institution and am familiar with their respective plans, so I can be a resource during this process.  Empire State Development (ESD) is also here to help.

Once a company and an academic institution are matched up, the two will enter into negotiations on four key points:

  1. Space and lease rates – each institution will designate specific buildings and/or land on its campus(es) that are available for lease. Additionally, each institution may designate up to 200,000 square feet of space off campus, based on the company’s needs.
  2. Affiliation – the two parties will determine exactly how they will interact, or affiliate, a key to eligibility for the program. In this point, both parties will seek a mutually beneficial arrangement.
  3. Job creation commitment – the company must commit to creating net new jobs (to New York State) in order to participate in the program, and will negotiate this number with the institution.
  4. Intellectual property (IP) – the two parties must agree upon who will own IP should any patentable discoveries take place during the course of the affiliation.

Once the two parties have agreed on the above four items, this will represent a completed application. The application will then go to Empire State Development for final review. This review period is set to last 60 days, at which point if an application has not been rejected, it is formally approved. Once approved, the application becomes a legally binding contract between the company and the academic institution and the company and its employees can start reaping the benefits of operating free of New York State taxes for the following ten years!

Still have questions? That’s not surprising. It’s impossible to sum all this up in one short blog. But please feel free to email me at any time for more information, especially if you’re a company considering taking advantage of this exciting new opportunity! arosenhoch@buffaloniagara.org.

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

START-UP NY Tax Free Zones for New & Expanding Companies

start up nyby Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

Across North America, the economic development landscape is experiencing an influx of stakeholders as academic institutions of higher learning are embracing their role as regional economic development partners.  This is already true of many colleges and universities right here in the Buffalo Niagara region.  For example, take a look at this video emphasizing how partnership with the University at Buffalo helped lure a high tech company to relocate its headquarters to Buffalo recently.

Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks this type of collaboration is a very good thing and wants to see more of it.  His new and groundbreaking START-UP NY program creates tax-free zones across New York State for new and expanding businesses that partner with a university or college.  Companies accepted into the program will be free of all New York State (NYS) corporate income tax, business taxes, state and local sales taxes, franchise fees and even personal income tax of owners and employees.  You read that correctly: zero personal income tax for owners and employees for 10 years!

The Buffalo Niagara region is particularly well-positioned for companies to take advantage of this exciting new program.  With 23 colleges and universities in the region, including the University at Buffalo, the flagship research institution of the State University of New York system, the range of expertise and opportunities for partnership are boundless.  And, with so many colleges and universities, that also means that at any given time, there are over 100,000 students living in the region.  Quite the resource of talent from which to draw!

To be eligible for the START-UP NY program, a company must either be a start-up, new to NYS, or an NYS-company that can clearly demonstrate that it is expanding with net-new job creation.  The company must apply to the particular college or university with which it plans to partner.  The institution will determine whether or not a partnership with the company will further the academic mission of the institution.  Additionally, the company must locate on a campus, in a campus-owned property, or within a 1-mile radius of campus.

There are so many ways a company can partner with a college or university.  They can jointly submit research and development grant applications.  They can develop a new curriculum to create a steady stream of job candidate with exactly the right skill set(s).  They can develop an internship program.  With the wide and diverse distribution of institution type found here in the Buffalo Niagara region, it won’t be too difficult to find a match.

I am excited to roll this program out as the newest and shiniest tool in our economic development toolkit.   For more information on the program, feel free to contact me: arosenhoch@buffaloniagara.org.

Building the Business Case for Buffalo Niagara

by Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager

Since Alita’s plan to build a $102 million factory in Buffalo was announced earlier this week, we’ve been asked repeatedly, “What enticed them to Buffalo?” Some people seem surprised that we don’t mention the quality of life in the region as a central factor. Hundreds of man hours went into the competitive assessment and due diligence process for this project. The cost of doing business from electrical rates, labor, logistics, and cost of living all played key parts in the evaluation.

In a recent interview with Ali Hosseini, Alita president and CEO, Business First reported Hosseini said that building in Buffalo was “probably 25 percent” less expensive than Houston.

Recently companies like Yahoo, Alpina, Muller Quaker Dairy, Welded Tube, and Fed Ex all made their decisions to locate in our region based on the business case, testimony to the fact that the Buffalo Niagara region was once built for business and this remains true today. As Ward Thomas, president and CEO of Sentient Science – an advanced manufacturing company that just recently relocated to Buffalo Niagara from Idaho – said:

“We believe we can make more money faster, we can grow faster, we can hire people – and we can participate in the economy – faster by being here in Buffalo than any other city in the country.”

So what role does quality of life play in these decisions? In the due diligence process, that’s the cherry on top. It’s part of the reason we have a such great and productive workforce and why once we get companies and people to move here they –and their families – never want to leave. Buffalo Niagara:: Where Life Works