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Western New York, September 2015

Business Expansions

New this Month

Dresser-Rand Group , an oil-service company based in Houston,which has three area facilities in Olean, Wellsville and Painted Post, has received a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and test equipment that lowers the cost of capturing and compressing carbon dioxide. The award could boost employment at the three facilities, which together employ about 2,300 workers.

Tulip Molded Plastics Corp., a Niagara Falls (Niagara County) plastics manufacturer, is in line to receive $1 million from the New York Power Authority to help it build a new plant on a former brownfield area in the city. The company has already received $1.9 million in tax breaks from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, a $550,000 state grant and low-cost hydropower from the Power Authority to keep the company from relocating to Indiana. The new $10.4 million plant would preserve 81 jobs in Niagara Falls.

Nordstrom Rack opened its first Buffalo-Niagara region store on September 3rd. The 35,000-square-foot store is one of the new anchors of the Boulevard Consumer Square shopping center along Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst (Erie County). The department store will employ 60 full-and part-time employees.

The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls (Niagara County) will add six new stores this fall to its $71 million 175,000-square-foot expansion that it completed last year. The new stores include Columbia Sportswear, Kipling, Calvin Klein Underwear, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Frangrance 4U, and Victoria’s Secret. The expansion was built to help the mall compete with the Outlet Collection at Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Vantage International Park, an industrial park in Wheatfield (Niagara County), has been selected as the site of a new manufacturing center for Bridgestone APM Co. The automotive products manufacturer selected the site for its 65,000-square-foot, $12.28 million plant over other areas in the region, as well as sites in Ohio and Tennessee. When completed, 60 new jobs will be created when the plant opens in early 2017.

A new 22,000-square-foot T.J. Maxx store opened in the Aurora Village Shopping Center in East Aurora (Erie County) on September 20, filling a long-term vacancy in the plaza. The store, which will employ 60 full-and part-time workers, will be the ninth T.J. Maxx store in Western New York.

A new Sonic restaurant, which had a targeted opening of August 29th on Transit Road in Cheektowaga (Erie County), has moved the opening of the fast food franchise to mid-October. Construction delays on the building, which is a former Perkins restaurant, have caused the delay of the opening. The $2 million restaurant will have an indoor eating area for 100 people as well as an outdoor eating area. The company will hire 125 workers, including cooks and carhops.

Dozens of jobs will be coming to Western New York when two medical marijuana dispensaries open in Erie County in January 2016. PharmaCann LLC has confirmed it will open a dispensary in Amherst. The company is already accepting jobs on its website for new patient education representatives for the New York location.

Geico, one of the largest employers in the Buffalo region with 2,800 workers, continues to hire at its Getzville office. The company hopes to fill 250 jobs in customer services, sales and claims by the end of the year. In total, the local office expects to add 100 net jobs for the next couple of years as the company’s auto and non-auto insurance divisions continue to expand.

Kohl’s department stores has announced the company will hire 69,000 seasonal workers this holiday shopping season, with about 300 of those positions available in Western New York. The department store will hire roughly 50 holiday associates at each of its six locations in Buffalo, Amherst, East Amherst, Lancaster, Orchard Park and Batavia to help fill orders that are bought online and shipped to stores, help with freight processing, as well as providing customer service on the sales floor and at checkout.

Local franchisee Dana Zuber opened her third Plato’s Closet, a national chain of clothing and accessory resellers. The newest location debuted in East Amherst (Erie County) on September 17th, joining the two other locations in Amherst and West Seneca.

Garland Technology LLC, a network tap manufacturer, is looking to add staff at its company headquarters in Buffalo as its business grows globally. The company, which manufactures its products in Texas, while running operations, including sales, marketing and finance are handled in its Buffalo location. Because of a spike in domestic and international business, the company is planning to add three new sales positions within the next year up to as many as 15 new sales positions by the end of 2016.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott opened a new $14 million, 108-room hotel in Cheektowaga (Erie County) near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The 71,500-square-foot hotel was built on formerly vacant property and will employ 45 people.

California-based Johnny Rockets will open the restaurant chain’s first Johnny’s Burger Factory concept restaurant at the Walden Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga (Erie County) on September 26th. The restaurant will feature a video wall and a digital menu where customers will customize and place their orders via a touch-screen kiosk. This will be the first Johnny’s Burger Factory for the chain in the country.

Allegany County’s Industrial Development Agency recently announced its purchase of an 11-acre vacant truck stop along Rt.19 in Belmont which represents the 1-86 interchange. In a two-part plan, the IDA plans to develop the land into a truck-stop, fast food, convenience and fuel destination. The county also owns 18-acres of land behind the site and is looking to build a hotel and retail complex. The IDA hopes to have signed deals for both projects by early next year.

Negotiations are underway for Nickel City Shredding & Recycling to acquire the Gerdau Ameristeel Inc. operations on Ohio St. in the City of Buffalo (Erie County). The deal would end a long search for the company to find a site for its major expansion and investment. In addition to renovating the site, the company plans to add as many as 40 new workers.

The newly rebuilt Olive Garden restaurant in Blasdell (Erie County) will open on September 28th. The Italian food chain restaurant was destroyed by a fire last year. The 7,680-square-foot location will employ 150 people.

Paula’s Donuts, a local donut shop, will open its third and largest doughnut shop in West Seneca (Erie County) on October 1st in the Southgate Plaza. The 4,800-square-foot store will employ 80 people.

North Tonawanda (Niagara County) swimming pool manufacturer Confer Plastics will receive low-cost hydropower from the New York State Power Authority for its $2.6 million expansion project. The company also manufactures kayaks and other molded plastic products. The expansion is expected to add 24 jobs to its workforce of 180.

RockTenn in North Tonawanda (Niagara County) will receive low-cost hydropower from the New York State Power Authority for the company’s $7.5 million project to increase its capacity through replacement of outdated equipment. The company, which makes container board packaging, currently employs 119 and will add 9 new postions with an average salary of nearly $65,000 a year.

Business Contractions

New this Month

Casual-dining restaurant franchise Quaker Steak and Lube on Transit Road in Clarence (Erie County) closed abruptly on September 8th. There was no notice that the restaurant would be closing.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

240 Workers at Ingersoll Rand who have been on strike since August 10th, returned to their jobs on September 21. Members of Local 330, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers had previously rejected the company’s earlier offer the previous week, but have since ratified a new contract.

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