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Western New York, July 2017


New this month

Hart Hotels of Buffalo and Krog Corp. of Orchard Park have teamed up to build a “destination hotel” on Chautauqua Lake in Celeron (Chautauqua County). The Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, which is expected to be one of the largest private-sector projects in the county, will receive more than $3.5 million in state economic funding. Plans call for 135 guest rooms and suites, a lakeview ballroom and banquet center, business center, conference space, indoor and outdoor pools, restaurant and bar and a large outdoor patio. The hotel is expected to open in July 2018. (July 10, 2017-The buffalo News)

Labatt USA is partnering with Pegula Sports and Entertainment to redevelop a five-story building on Perry Street in downtown Buffalo (Erie County) to create the John Labatt House in the Cobblestone District. The project, which will include a restaurant and brewery, is currently in the design phase with construction to begin in early 2018 and opening in the fall of 2018. When completed 100 food and beverage jobs will be created. (July 12, 2017-The buffalo News)

Chick-fil-A, a fast food franchise, has finally confirmed that the chain will expand into the Buffalo area. The company announced that it will open its first restaurant in the Buffalo, Plattsburgh, Rochester and Syracuse areas in 2018/2019. The first location is said to be on Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga in a now vacant Famous Dave’s barbecue restaurant and could open as early as September. Other locations, including one in Amherst and Niagara Falls could follow soon after. (July 17,

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday, July 18th a $42 million plan to restore the 12-story landmark Hotel Niagara in Niagara Falls. Restoration of the 93-year-old hotel will be done by Ed Riley, CEO of Brine Wells Development of Syracuse. He intends to have the hotel with 130 room open in time for the 2019 tourist season. The revived hotel project includes returning the lobby, main ballroom and mezzanine to their 1924 condition, a restaurant, rooftop lounge, and a sidewalk patio for outdoor dining. The 130 guest rooms will all be new. Money from the state’s Buffalo Billion economic development program was used to purchase the hotel for $4.4 million in March 2016. The state will sell the hotel to Brine Wells for $1 and Brine Wells is expected to receive $3.5 million in direct incentives and will seek state and historic preservation tax credits. (July 18-The buffalo news)

Panasonic held a job fair at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center on July 26th. The company, which says it has 300 jobs available, already employs about 60 people in Buffalo, hopes to hire 150 more by the end of August. (July 19-the buffalo news)

A grant in the amount of $17 million has been awarded to Kaleida Health by the state to save Lake Shore Hospital in Irving and Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk. Part of the money will be used to build a new facility to replace the current Brooks hospital on a yet to be determined site. The two hospitals, which have been struggling financially for years, affiliated with Kaleida last year. (July 20,-The buffalo news)

Proposals are being accepted for mixed-use buildings on two parcels at Canalside. Erie Canal Harbor Development is looking for retail and/or restaurants which are preferably locally owned. As an incentive, the state will provide $2 million for reconstructed streets and other required infrastructure. Proposals are due by October 5th. The two parcels are on approximately half acre sites across from Main Street from One Canalside and the HarborCenter. (July 20-the buffalo news)

The City of Niagara Falls NFC Development Corp. has approved a grant to KeySource USA, a pharmaceutical distributor that will move its national headquarters from Cincinnati Ohio to Niagara Falls. The company will spend $426,000 renovating space in the Power City Building on Old Falls Street. Eighteen new jobs will be created in the first year, with future growth possible. (July 22-The buffalo News)

Mike’s DQ Grill & Chill will receive a grant from the City of Niagara Falls NFC Develompent Corp. for its $1.5 million expansion. The expansion will create 17 new jobs. (July 22-the buffalo news)

Erie County has signed a purchase agreement, after years of negotiations, to take control of nearly 150 acres of remediated Bethlehem Steel property by the end of the year. The first 60 are expected to be transferred by the end of the month. County leaders are envisioning, within five years, roads, waterlines, lighting, rail spurs and high speed internet. And within a decade, they imagine private business occupying the long decaying site as an industrial campus that propels advanced manufacturing and green technology. Nearly $19 million in local, state and federal money has already been spend or committed to purchasing and redeveloping the property. (July 23-The buffalo news)

Amazon is currently in the process of hiring hundreds of workers for its planned Lancaster distribution center. Work is currently underway to convert a former supermarket warehouse into the “sortation” center for the retail giant. The company will be holding open interviews at various locations over the coming weeks. Job openings at Amazon will include positions in fulfillment, management, human resources, IT and operations leaders. Job seekers will be able to tour the facility and attend informational sessions. Candidates can fill out applications during the events, and Amazon is equipped to hire job seekers the same day, the company said. (July 26-The buffalo News)

Instacart, a third-party personal shopping and delivery app, is looking for 150 local, independent contractors which will deliver groceries that are ordered online from Wegmans. The company is expanding its services to the Buffalo Niagara region on August 1. In addition to Wegmans, Instacart will shop for and deliver items from other stores including Petco, CVS and PriceRite. The company has been posting job openings on Craigslist and can also apply at Shoppers are required access to a car, two or more years of shopping experience, a smartphone and the ability to lift up to 40 pounds. (July 26-The buffalo news)

Whole Foods, which was recently purchased by Amazon, is hiring for its store that will be opening soon on Sheridan Drive in Amherst. There are currently 140 job openings at the new location.

Inspire Dental Group has opened its 3rd office in Western New York in downtown Buffalo (Erie County). The practice, which spent $1 million to renovate the new office space will add up to 30 jobs. (July 31-The buffalo News)


New this month


New this month

Approximately 1,100 of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) 1,500 workers have agreed on a new contract in nearly 9 years. Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1342 voted yes to a new contract that will include a raise and employee contribution towards a new medical plan. (July 12,

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