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Western New York, June 2005

Business Expansions

New this Month

The Niagara Falls Planning Board approved a final site plan for 550,000 square feet of development, including a Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sam’s Club in Niagara Falls (Niagara County). Benderson Development has 18 months to complete the planned project.

Two additional Tops stores in the area will switch to the Martin’s Super Food Stores banner. Stores in Derby (Erie County) and Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) are currently under construction and scheduled to open this fall. Each of the stores will add about 100 employees as a result of the switch.

National chain store Bed, Bath & Beyond is settling on two new addresses in the Buffalo Niagara region this fall. Construction is beginning on a new 25,000 square foot store at the McKinley Mall in Blasdell (Erie County) and at the former Clarence Mall in Clarence (Erie County). The construction of the stores marks the beginning of more new building in those areas.

Sodexho Management has signed a 10-year lease to remain in Amherst (Erie County), a move that will retain 550 jobs. Sodexho services local offices and provide administrative support and financial services for the company.

Nanodynamics, a Buffalo (Erie County) company whose development projects include fuel cells and high-tech golf balls, stands to receive $4.6 million in state incentives linked to the creation of 325 jobs here. The 50-job company will carry out the expansion over five years. In addition to creating jobs, the company is to invest nearly $10 million for machinery and improvements at its factory.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to sell its Buffalo (Erie County) plant to Canadian company Contract Pharmaceuticals Ltd., in a deal that will preserve the site’s work force of 200 and lead to 30 additional jobs. Both companies are manufacturers and packagers of over-the-counter and prescription products.

Business Contractions

New this Month

By summer’s end, Erie County will find itself under the watchful eye of a new state–created control board. The seven-member panel will deal not only with the county’s current fiscal crisis, but will remain in existence legally until 2039. Under a deal made between Gov. George E. Pataki and state lawmakers, a “soft” control board, whose power will be limited to serving in an advisory capacity, will be established in the coming weeks to monitor the county’s finances.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Service Employees International Union Local 1199, the union that represents health care workers statewide, is planning a one-day walkout on Monday, June 13 at three area nursing homes. The target homes are Grace Manor Health Care Facility, Delaware Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Buffalo (Erie County), and the Newfane Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Newfane (Niagara County). About 430 LPN’s, nursing aides and support workers could participate. The homes are a few of the 24 in the Buffalo area whose contracts expired in April.

Striking members of the Operating Engineers Local 17 (Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Orleans, Wyoming, & Genesee Counties) returned to work under a tentative agreement on June 22. The stalled construction projects affected not only the strikers, but also construction laborers and carpenters. The strike began on April 4, after the labor contract expired on March 31.

The Buffalo Teachers Federation (Erie County) and four other district unions may ultimately be successful in their challenge of the board’s decision to change health insurance choices without union approval. A judge placed a temporary halt on the Buffalo Board of Education’s plan to save $27 million over the next two years by switching to a single health insurance carrier. At stake next year is $10 million in the district’s general operating budget and an additional $2 million in its grants budget.

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