Around the Region: Chautauqua County

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

In August, several members of the BNE team had the opportunity to join our partners from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) for an in-depth tour of Chautauqua county and its multitude of development opportunities.  Along for the tour was SUNY Fredonia’s Vice President of Engagement and Economic Development Kevin Kearns.  It was a great opportunity to meet him and learn about the exciting initiatives SUNY Fredonia are undertaking at their technology incubator and across campus.

We met the CCIDA team in Irving to start our whirlwind afternoon…

Our tour included tracts of land that are already under development, such as a brand new mixed-use project including a brand name hotel in Irving right near Sunset Bay beach.  It also included several tracts of land that are available for development and are at various stages of site preparation, including the Ripley site, which is a 140-acre greenfield right on the Interstate-90 near the PA border that recently received official New York State Shovel-Ready status.  This designation means that a company can quickly and easily move from planning to construction, because the site is pre-permitted for a range of uses, including environmental reviews and surveys.

We also took in available buildings that companies can take advantage of, like several buildings in the Chadwick Bay Industrial park, that feature an active rail spur as well.

We did a drive-by of the absolutely massive Cummins Engine plant in Lakewood just outside Jamestown.  The plant, known as the Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP), is one of the top five heavy-duty diesel engine producers in the entire world, with production in recent years typically exceeding 100,000 engines annually.  Just last month, the JEP celebrated the production of its 1.5 millionth engine and recently became the first Cummins plant to achieve zero disposal status (no waste disposed in landfill).  The JEP is Chautauqua county’s largest private employer with over 1,400 employees working in the over 1 million square foot facility.

A tour of Chautauqua county would not be complete, however, without

Grape Discovery Center

Grape Discovery Center

appreciating the incredible beauty that encompasses the county. As you cut through the western portion of the county, just about all you see are grapes, grapes and more grapes!  That’s because the Lake Erie Concord Grape region is the oldest and largest Concord grape growing region in the world.  Bet you didn’t know that fact!  Well, if you’re intrigued and want to learn more, you now can at the brand new Lake Erie Grape Discovery Center!

Also along the way we (very briefly) stopped at the newly built Southern Tier Brewing Company’s gorgeous new brewery and brew-pub.  With all the

Southern Tier Brewing

Southern Tier Brewing

stops we still had to make, we only did a drive by where I quickly snapped this picture.  Quite the tease if you ask me, but I will be sure to visit again!

To learn more about Chautqua county, click here, or visit tourism information, go to

About arosenhoch

Business Development Manager Buffalo Niagara Enterprise

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