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Western New York, February 2013

Business Expansions

New this Month

Crunch Fitness, a trendy New York City-based fitness club, will open its first Upstate New York location in Amherst (Erie County) in April.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute has received contingent approval from the New York State Health Department for its $43 million expansion. The hospital is planning to build an 11-story Clinical Sciences Center adjacent to its campus on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The center will enable the expansion of Roswell’s chemo-infusion program, doubling its number of stations as well as doubling the amount of exam rooms for its breast clinic, as well as create 50,000-square-feet of administrative and research space.

A long vacant corner on Main Street in Buffalo (Erie County) is being eyed as the site of a new Dollar General store. Arista Development met with the Buffalo Planning Board to go over its proposal to construct the new 9,000-square-foot store. Pending planning board review, construction is expected to start later this spring, with store opening by late summer or early fall.

Fashion retailer H&M will add a second Buffalo area store in Amherst (Erie County) in the Boulevard Mall. The store is slated to open by late spring or early summer.

National Grid has allocated $30,000 to the TM Montante Development company towards the construction of a nearly 100,000-square-foot building in the Riverview Solar Technology Park. TM Montante is marketing the building; the third in the park, to alternative green energy focuses companies.

Earlier this year, Community Bank, N.A. acquired the former Ivers J. Norton Elementary School in Olean (Cattaraugus County) and has submitted plan the Cattaraugus Industrial Development Agency to turn the vacant school into a back office operation. The $ million project could see 50 mid-level management jobs created within the next five years.

A proposed medical clinic in Gowanda (Cattaraugus County) was submitted to the Cattaraugus Industrial Development Agency for review and consideration of an abatement package. The 9,460-square-foot medical and clinical center, being operated by 42 Jamestown LLC, will provide to adult patients and will create 19 new jobs.

Nick Sinatra, a real estate investor, plans to begin work this spring on his latest Main Street renovation project. The project focuses on a pair of long vacant, 100-year old apartment buildings just a few blocks south of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The two buildings will have a mix of 34 one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Defense contractor Cobham is closing its production facility in St. Petersburg Florida and is relocating around three-quarters of its 160-person workforce to operations in Orchard Park (Erie County) and Davenport, Iowa. The Orchard Park facility, which makes life support systems for the military and aerospace industries, plans to add around 60 workers by the end of the year.

Citigroup plans to hire an estimated 175 workers for its Amherst operations. Citigroup Inc.’s Amherst (Erie County) site has added 650 jobs since 2007, giving the company more than 1,300 local workers.

Home Depot is preparing for the spring selling season by looking to hire 80,000 seasonal associates across the country, with an estimated 375 workers in the Buffalo area. About half of the seasonal hires transition into regular positions within the company.

The Buffalo Sabres HARBORcenter will cost 40% more than originally anticipated. The hockey ‘center of excellence’ plans originally called for an investment of $123 million, those costs have risen to $170 million. The plans call for two indoor ice rinks, a hotel, parking ramp and restaurant on the Webster Block parking lot of the Sabres home, First Niagara Center. If all approvals are granted, groundbreaking will take place on March 1 with the complex, and the hotel is expected to open by September 2014.

The long-vacant Moore Business Forms plant is to be turned into an 84-room Marriott Hotel in Niagara Falls (Niagara County). The hotel will employ 33 people by the third year.

The owner of the Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls (Niagara County) wants to expand the mall with enough space to add 50 new stores, making the total number more than 200, making it one of the largest shopping centers in the country. The company is asking the town for abatements and tax relief through a PILOT program for the $71 million project. The expansion project would create about 900 construction jobs and roughly 600 new retail jobs. If approved, construction could start as early as June.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Advanced Monolythic Ceramics in Olean (Cattaraugus County) will close its plant at the end of August. The manufacturer of devices used in power air conditioning and filtering is consolidating its operations into its plant in California. 65 employees will lose their jobs when the plant closes.

The Kmart store in Lancaster (Erie County) will close on April 14 when its lease expires. 68 people will lose their jobs with the store closing.

Deltacraft Paper, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, has announced it will be closing its Buffalo (Erie County) division at the end of February. The company employs 18 workers.

The Springville-Griffith School Board has agreed to offer a resignation incentive to its staff this year as a cost-saving measure. Employees of all five bargaining units would be eligible provided that they have worked a minimum of three years in the district. Last year 14 employees took part in the resignation incentive. This is the third consecutive year that the offer has been extended to its district.

30 workers at NAES Corporation in Niagara Falls (Niagara County) will be laid off. The maintenance and construction services company will officially shut down on May 9th.

Romanello’s restaurant in Hamburg (Erie County) will close on March 2nd. The 33 year old dining establishment blames a decline in business for the closure.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Hamburg Central School Teachers and administrators, who failed to agree on a state-mandated teacher evaluation plan in January, will sit down in February to talk about it again. The district is losing about $450,000 in state aid because an agreement could not be reached by the deadline. The governor has tied the increase in next year’s state aid to having plans in place by September 1. If the plan is not approved by the teachers, district and approved by the state, the school district could lose about $2 million in funding.

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