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Western New York, November 2013

Business Expansions

New this Month

A grain elevator on the Buffalo River will be transformed into a brewery entertainment and recreation complex as soon as next spring. Developers are planning to spend $15 million to convert the inactive 8-acre Wheeler-GLF grain elevator into an attraction with bars, restaurants, a brewery, an entertainment venue and ice rinks. Early phases of the project, to be called Buffalo RiverWorks, are expected to open by Memorial Day, with the goal of making the site fully functional one year from now. Under consideration in the future is a $25 million, 100-room hotel that would incorporate new construction with an L-shaped feed mill that people could sleep in.

Waterfront Health Care Center has received final approvals from the state Department of Health two years after nearly shutting down due to fiscal worries. The downtown Buffalo (Erie County) health center will invest $4.6 million in the renovation project which will include upgrades to all rooms, updated nurse stations and lobby areas and a therapy suite.

Officials will break ground on November 5th to break ground on an expanded training center in Cheektowaga (Erie County) that has been funded through one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development initiatives. The Finishing Trades Institute of Western & Central New York is adding 6,500-square-feet top its complex that will serve as a new, state of the art training center. When it opens next year, the project will create 120 indirect jobs through an apprenticeship program and will provide training for another 800 people.

The Wyndham Garden Hotel on Main Street in Williamsville (Erie County) celebrated its grand opening on November 7th. The hotel includes 120 guest rooms, 33 apartments, a restaurant and a fitness center.

Ford Motor Co. plans to hire 300 new workers at its stamping plant in Hamburg (Erie county) to make parts for expanded operations at its assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario. The company will invest about $100 million into the manufacturing plant. Currently, 565 hourly and salaried workers are at the facility. The 300 new jobs would increase the plant’s employment by more than 50 percent.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a clean-energy research campus on 90 acres of land along the Buffalo river that will include two initial tenants moving from California to create 850 jobs. The RiverBend Project calls for $225 million in state funding to build the first of six buildings on a brownfield site that Cuomo administration officials believe will become the center of some of the nation’s leading clean and green energy research. The project will be run by the State University of New York’s Research Foundation.



Business Contractions

New this Month

NCO Financial Systems will lay off 104 workers at its Getzville (Erie County) site instead of 101 as initially announced. NCO will continue to have 278 employees at its CrossPoint Business Park location once the layoffs are completed in January 2014.

Bank of America is closing branches across the country including two in Western New York. The Liberty Building branch in downtown Buffalo (Erie County). has transferred all but one employee to other branches. The bank declined to provide the total number of employees staffed at the branch. The branch on Third Street in Niagara Falls (Niagara County) is scheduled to close on January 24, 2014.

New Era Cap Co. is planning to temporarily furlough 30 percent of its workforce in its Derby (Erie County) plant. The loss of a contract is cited for the roughly 60 layoffs. The manufacturer hopes to bring the employees back to work later this year.


Labor Disputes

New this Month

Union workers of Local 118 overwhelmingly approved a new contract with Wegmans, November 7th, after voting against the deal two other times. The union represents some 900 truck drivers and warehouse workers in Rochester.


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