New York State has reached a deal with the City of Buffalo to acquire 88 acres of city-owned land that will become the home for the RiverBend Clean Energy and Technology Hub. The $2.5 million formal agreement comes a little more than three months after the state agreed to the basic terms of the land acquisition and clears a key hurdle in the Buffalo Billion initiative to jump-start the Buffalo Niagara economy with fast-growing, technology-based businesses. The state has also reached agreements with two California-based companies to become the first two tenants in the RiverBend complex. Silevo, a solar panel manufacturer, and Soraa, a LED lighting maker, will a total of 850 new jobs to Western New York.
ROAR logistics, a Rich Products Corp. subsidiary and third-party logistics provider in Buffalo, is acquiring Phoenix-based Legend Transportation Group to bolster its operations in the Western United States. ROAR, founded in 2003, links manufacturers that have something to transport with shipping, trucking, rail or air carriers. The acquisition of Legend will allow ROAR to offer more services to a larger pool of customers. Sixteen employees in Buffalo will be retained, boosting companywide employment to 60.
Whole Foods Markets announced it will open a store in the Buffalo (Erie County) area. The Austin, Texas-based company currently operated 14 stores in New York State, the 15th is scheduled to open in Albany in June, and six others, including the location in Western New York are in development throughout the state. The new store would open in 2016.
The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA released their new retail lineup on May 8th. The Niagara County outlet mall, currently undergoing an expansion, will bring 50 new stores and create an estimated 500 new jobs. The additions, which will make the mall one of the biggest outlet malls in the country, and is expected to open this fall.
The Courtyard by Marriott hotel opened on Tuesday, May 13th in downtown Buffalo (Erie County) inside what was once an empty state office building. The hotel created approximately 50 new full and part-time positions.
The Seneca Niagara Casino held a job fair on May 15th in Williamsville to fill 120 positions at its Niagara Falls (Niagara County) casino. Openings include 90 food and beverage positions-such as servers, cooks, bartenders, cashiers and attendants, and another 30 gaming positions-including cashiers, security officers and experienced card dealers.
The University at Buffalo has filed applications on behalf of seven high-tech companies to Empire State Development, to set up their business in tax-free zones tied to the University as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up NY economic development program. The companies are promising to create new jobs in the zones, primarily in downtown Buffalo, and in exchange will pay no state or local taxes for 10 years. The seven companies tied to UB are the first in a wave of firms expected to open their doors, and was the first local school to receive approval for its Start-Up NY sites. The first seven companies are:
1. Aesku Diagnostics, a German medical diagnostics company- 50 new employees over 5 years.
2. CoachMePlus, a Web-Based application that collects data on athletes for coaches and trainers-number of employees not available.
3. Decision Pace: A startup that developed a Web-based, data-visualization application. The company intends to hire 43 new employees over five years.
4. Heads Up Display: designs high-tech, industrial-safety devices will hire 3 new employees initially.
5. Lineagen: a Utah-based company that performs tests on children who display clinical symptoms of developmental delay will hire eight new employees initially.
6. Nupur Technologies: has registered its name with state Department of State with Lewiston address, further info unavailable
7. Sinapis Pharma: tests the use of low-dose methamphetamine to treat brain injuries. The company will hire two or three employees initially.
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is moving 40 jobs from its offices in a Philadelphia suburb to its downtown Buffalo (Erie County) headquarters. The 40 employees from the Pennsylvania office will be giving the opportunity to relocate to Buffalo. For those that do not wish to move, the remaining positions will be filled locally.Two new retailers in Lockport (Niagara County) will be opening stores in August. A 23,300-square-foot TJ Maxx will open in a space previously occupied by a Sears Hardware outlet. The store will be TJ Maxx’ fifth store in the Buffalo Niagara region. Also slated to open is a 185,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter that has been in the works for nearly ten years.
Construction began on the region’s first SpringHill suites by Marriott hotel in Lancaster (Erie County). The $11.5 million project has received a modified series of incentives from the Lancaster Industrial Development Agency. The 108-room hotel is expected to open next spring.
Toy-maker Fisher Price in East Aurora (Erie County) is seeking incentives from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for a $6 million renovation on its 15-year old building. While no new jobs will be created, it will help Fisher-Price maintain its current workforce of 750 people.
Nordstrom Rack has confirmed it will build its first area store in Amherst’s Boulevard Consumer Square in Amherst (Erie County). The upscale Seattle-based fashion retailer Nordstrom is known for its high fashion, luxury clothing and accessories. The 35,000-square-foot store will open in fall 2015.
New York City-based call center iQor is hiring 125 new workers at its Buffalo (Erie County) site to meet client growth in its accounts receivable management division. A job fair will be held on June 3 at the company’s Dick Road facility.
Titan Instruments, a Hamburg dental instrument manufacturer, is planning to move to Orchard Park (Erie County) to the former Gaymar Industries Facility. The $4.2 million plan will consolidate two locations into one. The expansion will add 10 new jobs to the current workforce of 30 full-time and five part-time workers.
Derrick Corp. is moving ahead with a $9.75 million expansion plan at its Cheektowaga manufacturing facility. Plans call for the company to add 31,200-square-feet on a second floor addition to its plant. The expansion comes three years after the company invested $20 million adding 123,555-square-feet. The company, which produces components for the gas, oil and mining industries currently employs nearly 400 and will add another 10 with the expansion.
Retail developer Scott R. Congel unveiled plans for a mixed-use, public-private $700 million mega project at the former Seneca mall site in West Seneca (Erie County). The redevelopment of the property would include two hotels, residential apartments, office buildings, retail, a theater, community facilities featuring twin hockey rinks and vast underground parking. The 55-acre site may also, at some point, feature a new Buffalo Bills covered football stadium. The developer estimated that the plan would generate 7,000 construction jobs and more than 2,000 permanent jobs.
Captive Plastics in Dunkirk (Chautauqua County), a subsidiary of Berry Plastics Group, is getting 500 kilowatts of low-cost hydropower from the New York State Power Authority for an $18.5 million expansion project that is expected to create 10 new jobs and retain 50 existing jobs.
Durez in Niagara Falls (Niagara County) will receive low cost power from the New York State Power Authority for its $800,000 expansion project. The company, which makes thermoset resins and molding compounds for the coatings, abrasives, automotive and aerospace markets, was awarded a seven-year hydropower allocation of 100 kilowatts to expand its facility. Six new jobs will be created and 56 jobs will be retained.
Cameron International Corp. has laid off 29 workers at its Cheektowaga (Erie County) plant. The Houston-based company made the reductions due to a slow-down in orders. Earlier this year the company laid off 38 hourly workers at the site due to a drop off in production. The Cheektowaga plant designs and makes air and gas compressors for applications including industrial plants and employs about 600 people.
The fate of a $34 million office building under construction in Amherst is uncertain not that the intended tenant has decided to re-evaluate its space needs. PHH Mortgage Corp is rethinking plans to move into the new facility following the recent elimination of 135 local jobs. The 97,000-square-foot office building being constructed was expected to be occupied by PHH later this year. The project received $4.5 million in various tax incentives. PHH entered the local market when it took over HSBC Bank USA N.A.’s mortgage processing operations in 2013. At the time, PHH officials said the company would employ 400 and could hire another 400 by the end of 2015. In February the company laid off 135 workers and currently employs 265 people in Amherst.
Cameron International Corp. has laid off 60 hourly workers at its Cheektowaga plant (Erie County. The manufacturer of air and gas compressors for applications continues to struggle with a slowdown in orders. The Broadway plant has gone through waves of layoffs in the past few months. Earlier this year, the plant cut 38 hourly jobs and more recently laid off 29 salaried employees. The cuts reduce the size of the hourly workforce to about 250 people.
Members of Lodge 1180, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers at Calspan Corp. went on strike May 13th after they were unable to reach an agreement with their employer on a new contract. The twenty-four workers on strike work at Calspan’s facilities in Cheektowaga (Erie County) and Niagara Falls (Niagara County).
Union workers from 11 Absolut Care nursing home sites throughout the region participated in an informational picket on May 23 in Salamanca; a first in a series of pickets planned for facilities across Western New York over the next month to raise awareness over the slow progress on a new contract. Major issues include wages, health insurance and retirement security. The existing contract expired on April 30 and covers 900 employees.
Workers at ConAgra Foods held a rally at Barker Common in Fredonia to fight for their jobs at the Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) plant. The company plans to shut down its carriage house plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia in February 2015. Labor unions and local leaders are calling on the food company to preserve some jobs or help workers facing unemployment. More than 400 jobs will be eliminated when the company closes its doors.
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