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Western New York, July 2013

Business Expansions

New this Month

HSBC Bank USA will be investing $35 million into two of its properties, including the HSBC Atrium in Downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The work will take place over the next two years and should be completed by the fall of 2014. HSBC has slightly more than 3,000 employees in Western New York and will be evenly split between the downtown Buffalo and Depew locations.

A local startup tech company is planning to move out of its incubator space and into a nearby office in Downtown Buffalo (Erie County). Decision Pace’s current home is Z80 Labs, the tech incubator on the first floor of the Buffalo News and currently employs 6 workers, but plans to grow to around 52 over the next three years. The company may relocate on or near a college campus to take part in the state’s recently announced “Start-Up NY” that would eliminate all taxes.

Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee Tim Cole has signed agreements to build four new locations of the restaurant this year. With the new locations, there will be 48 Dunkin’ Donuts in the greater Buffalo area, nine of which have opened since the beginning of 2012.

Nulife Glass, a Manchester England-based recycling specialist, will open its first U.S. facility in Chautauqua County. The company is investing $3.7 million to renovate a plant in the Town of Sheridan. The new location is already accepting cathode ray tube glass and anticipates the facility will be fully operating within the next 12 months. 25 new jobs will be created at the plant.

The region’s first Checker’s Drive-In location is slated for Cheektowaga. (Erie County). The site is the first of at least three that the franchise is considering for Western New York. Construction should start by late summer or early fall.

Hobby Lobby’s 55,000-square-foot store in Hamburg will officially open on July 15. Another store in Lancaster is expected to open later this summer. The two new stores doubles the Oklahoma City retailer’s number of Western New York outlets.

Restaurant plans were approved by the Buffalo Planning Board and the region’s first Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen is slated to open by early fall on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo (Erie County).

USA Niagara Development Corp. have officially formalized their agreement with the Hamister Group Inc. to construct a mixed-use project, anchored by a Hilton Garden Inn hotel on a vacant Rainbow Boulevard site. Construction on the $25 million project will start this fall and the hotel should be opened by fall of 2015.

Dresser –Rand in Olean (Cattaraugus County) has invested $7 million in new equipment to manufacture impellers. Impellers increase gas pressure and are installed on rotors that spin inside Dresser-Rand’s line of DATUM units. The expansion was necessary because of growth related to DATUM products and has hired about 170 new workers since last year.

Lufkin-RMT in Wellsville (Allegany County), now part of the General Electric Oil & Gas corporate family, marked the grand opening of its newly constructed plant on July 10. The plant will employ 68 people.

Ontario-based telecommunications company West held a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 10 at their new facility in Elma (Erie County). An open house and job fair was held on July 11 to hire more than 135 new workers at its facility.

Seneca Gaming Corp has 200 job openings and will host a job fair on July 11 in the Seneca Niagara Events Center at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel. Full and part-time positions throughout all departments are available both the Niagara Falls and Buffalo locations.

A second Marriott International hotel is coming to Canalside in Buffalo (Erie County). HarborCenter Devlopment LLC said the hotel component of its ice-rink and hospitality complex in front of First Niagara Center will be the Marriott and will bring another 205 rooms and suites to the waterfront. The hotel is scheduled to open in May 2015.

A University at Buffalo spin-off company whose software helps university admissions officers sort and analyze data from thousands of applicants has moved out of UB’s Technology Incubator and into nearby offices in Amherst (Erie County). Academic Software Plus was started as a nonprofit arm of the UB Foundation in 1995, and in 2001 was spun out as a for-profit start-up based in the UB Technology Incubator. The company, which currently has 30 employees, moved out of the incubator because the company continues to expand and has moved on from its start up stage.

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency has approved tax breaks for Ingram Micro’s $11 million expansion. The company’s expansion will add 249 jobs over the next two years to its current workforce of 1,500.



Business Contractions

New this Month

Petri Baking Products will officially shutdown on July 14, after nearly 60 years in Silver Creek. (Chautauqua County). 23 employees remain at the site to assist with the shutdown. The company has been in the process of shutting its doors since January, when it was acquired by ConAgra in a multi-company deal that resulted in the loss of 250 jobs at the plant.

Pumpernick N Pastry, a Buffalo bakery, will close its doors on July 20, after nearly forty years in business. The old fashioned bakery can no longer compete with the larger chains. (July 4, Furloughs at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station began on Monday, July 8. The 11 furlough days per person are the result of the sequestration cuts enacted in Washington earlier this year. Close to 550 civilian employees of the 914th and 107th Airlift Wing will have to take one unpaid day off a week until the end of September.

Kaleida Health is renewing its search for a new use for the shuttered Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital and is once again offering a $1 million prize for the buildings redevelopment. Plans by chason Affinity Cos. LLC to redevelop the site into a veterinary hospital have fallen thorough, as the company was unable to recruit a veterinary school as previously planned.

Declines in reimbursements, patient volume, and increased costs has stopped plans by Lake Erie Regional Health System to build a new hospital to replace the former Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Gowanda (Erie/Chautauqua County). The hospital project to replace Tri-County was to include a 20-bed inpatient chemical dependency unit as well as a 25-bed intensive residential rehab program for women in addition to an expanded urgent care facility and primary practice.


Labor Disputes

New this Month

The union representing Rural Metro employees gave notice of a strike after members of Teamsters 375 rejected the latest contract offer. The 10-day strike notice on July 5 and about 400 workers went on strike at midnight on July 15th. Less than 8 hours later, a tentative agreement was reached by the union and Rural Metro and workers returned to work. The deal was approved by its membership on July 21st.

Days after voting to authorize a strike, workers at Williamsville Suburban Nursing Center have reached a tentative agreement with management on a new labor contract. Nearly 200 workers at the site joined the union 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East last November and authorized the strike if an agreement could not be reached.

Union employees at Kaleida Health ratified a three-year agreement. Approximately 7,300 workers are represented by three different unions-Local 1199 SEIU, Local 1168 Communication Workers of America and Local 17, International Union of Operating Engineers. The agreement was reached after more than 5,000 of its workers voted in favor of striking if an agreement wasn’t in place by the time the current one expired.


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