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Western New York, October 2010

Business Expansions

New this Month

Georgia-based retailer Citi Trends Inc. has announced plans to open a store in North Buffalo (Erie County).The Buffalo store will be one of 10 new retail outlets across the country.

The Seneca Nation has acquired a controlling interest in CT COMM, a company that specialized in providing wireless communications services for government agencies. The company, based in Washington, D.C., will be renamed Seneca Communications, and its headquarters will be moved to the Seneca Nation’s Allegany Territory near Salamanca (Cattaraugus County).

Edwards Vacuum, a high-tech company in Wheatfield, (Niagara County) is consolidating its operations in Wheatfield and Grand Island into a new plant now under construction in Lockport. The expansion will keep 100 jobs in the area and is expected to create about 30 more.

New Era Cap Co. is among the vendors that are part of a $1 billion deal to license official National Football League merchandise in a 10-year pact that will begin in 2012.

Verizon Communications has submitted a tax-break application that outlined plans to invest $4.5 billion over ten years in a data center in Somerset (Niagara County). The project is expected to create 200 jobs in five years. About 500 construction workers would be needed to put up the buildings. This would be the largest project in Niagara County since the Niagara Power Project nearly 50 years ago.

Three prominent local real estate developers have bought the massive Seneca Industrial Center in the Larkin District in Buffalo (Erie County) for $3.1 million as part of a planned $50 million redevelopment project that has already received some federal funds. The project entails cleaning up and updating the eight-story building and converting half of it into Class A and Class B office space. The rest of the building will remain commercial and light industrial “incubator” space, which has been the building’s traditional use for decades.

Two Buffalo (Erie County) restauranteurs will open a yet-unnamed food processing plant and cash-and-carry market commissary carrying locally produced food for restaurants and household consumers. The food processing plant in the Clinton Bailey Market will use flash freezing equipment that will preserve fresh, local fruits and vegetables to be used locally year round.

A Baltimore developer is donating his rights to the Rainbow Centre mall for Niagara County Community College’s culinary institute. The two-year college has long been interested in using about a third of the shuttered mall space to house its Hospitality and Tourism Center and Culinary Arts Institute, and has been in negotiations with the businessman for over a year. The college will use only about 70,000 square feet of the roughly quarter-million square feet of space. It would include the college’s hospitality, tourism and culinary institute and its restaurant, wine store and bakery, a project that totals about $17 million. The rest of the mall would then be turned over to the city and its state development agency for redevelopment.

Alliance Advisory Group is moving its headquarters from Amherst to a long vacant building in downtown Buffalo (Erie County) with help from mortgage tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. The project is expected to create 15 jobs within two years boosting the company’s employment from 35 to 50.

A long-vacant building on Main Street in downtown Buffalo (Erie County) will soon begin a $9 million renovation into commercial office space and loft-style apartments by the Ellicott Development Company.

Ford Gum & Machine in Akron (Erie County) has added Big League Chew, a longtime children’s favorite gum, to its production line. The company, which employs about 100 people, has acquired the rights to make the product and will do so beginning in November. The number of new jobs is unknown at this time.

Spirit Airlines, a low-cost carrier based in South Florida, announced plans to start three weekly nonstop flights between Niagara Falls (Niagara County) and Florida and Myrtle Beach. The Niagara Falls International Airport, new $31.6 million terminal that was opened late last year, helped to attract the airlines scheduled services. The airline will initially employ 15 to 20 people at the airport.

Energy Curtailment Specialist, a Cheektowaga (Erie County) demand response services company, has expanded its Genesee Street offices as its work force has grown by 80 since the beginning of this year. The company, which employs more than 200 people, has added 10,000 square-feet of space to its office, more than doubling the amount of space the company occupies.

Business Contractions

New this Month

The USDA has suspended operations at the Tyson plant in Buffalo (Erie County). The deli meats maker temporary suspension affects about 480 of the 560 people employed at the plant.

Governor David Paterson has begun the process of firing 898 New York State workers before he leaves office in December. The dismissals are part of a broader plan to reduce the work force by 2,000 positions in the next two months. State Police civilian positions, programs at state parks, and chaplains at prisons are among the workers being laid off.

Labor Disputes

New this Month

Unionized workers at Eastman Machine in Buffalo (Erie County) have ratified a new three-year contract. Local 936, United Auto Workers 41 members approved the deal with the company that will expire at the end of September 2013.

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