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Western New York, February 2017



New This Month


Unifrax Corp., a manufacturer of high temperature insulation products for the automotive industry, is reviving a plan to build an $18 million facility in the Town of Tonwanda.  In 2014, the company proposed to build a 76,000-square-foot facility next to its existing corporate headquarters and was approved for tax breaks by the ECIDA, but the project has been on hold for more than two years.  The new plan will call for a larger facility and will create 25 new jobs.   

Construction on a new four-story, 107-room hotel near the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst is expected to begin by late March.  Ellicott Development, the developer for the project, hopes to open the new hotel in February or March of 2018.  


Motion control equipment manufacturer Moog Inc.  is planning a $32.6 million expansion at its Elma (Erie County) manufacturing campus. The expansion will add 95,000-square feet to its current facility.  


Workers have begun moving in to the second building in the CrossPoint Business Park in Amherst that Geico has renovated. The insurance giant and Uniland Development Co. had announced its plans in August 2016 to lease a second building and hire 278 workers within two years and 600 within 6, while retaining the 2,700 workers it had currently employed.  Work on the second site was completed in January of this year. 

 Washington D.C. developer Douglas Jemal’s proposal to renovate One Seneca Tower has been approved by the Buffalo Planning Board.  The plan is to create a residential and retail community at the base of the office tower, including the two four-story annex buildings that sit alongside of the tower on the concrete plaza. The company would construct new brick-and-concrete storefronts that will jut out from the concrete edifice, hosting some combination of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, a market, a fitness center, clothing stores and other establishments. The rest of the tower will remain empty, until the market demand drives redevelopment.  The developer hopes to get the first shovels in the ground in the spring, with construction taking 18-24 months.    

Aakron Rule Corp.  is planning to triple the size of its warehose and manufacturing building to handle the growth of its newer promotional items business.  The 50-year old company that started by manufacturing rulers and pencils, wants to add 25,000-square-feet to its current facility to store inventory and expand its injection-molding operations. Currently the company employs 148 people at the local facility.  Tennessee economic development officials have offered incentives for the company to shift manufacturing and printing operations to the local plant that would move 25 jobs to the molding department.  The company plans to start work by April 1 once municipal approvals are lined up. It hopes to complete the project by October.

Neighborhood Health Center has purchased a long-vacant Jubilee supermarket in Blasdell (Erie County) and will transform it into a community health center extension site, providing care, pediatrics, dental and pharmacy services.   The $4.6 million project will open in phases as early as late spring for the primary care, followed by dental services this summer and the retail pharmacy by the end of the year.  This will be the fourth location for the nonprofit health center.  25-30 new positions will be available, including entry-level support staff and medical providers at all levels.  


New This Month 

Quality Park Products, an envelope manufacturer in Orchard Park (Erie County) plans to close its facility in mid-June.  The company, citing economic reasons for shutting down the plant, will leave 111 employees out of work. Workers will begin to be let go on March 1 and continue reducing its work force through mid-May. 


JCPenny announced that it will close nearly 140 stores nationwide.  Regionally, J.C. Penney has anchor department stores in Cheektowaga’s Walden Galleria, the Boulevard Mall in Amherst, Clarence’s Eastern Hills Mall, Hamburg’s McKinley Mall as well as sites in Dunkirk, Olean and Batavia. 

 Food distribution company Will Foods will close its doors in March.  The East Side Buffalo company, formerly known as Will Poultry, has cited economic issues as the reason for closing. 71 workers will lose their jobs as the result of the closure.    


Labor Disputes

 Noting to report.


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