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Niagara County IDA approves applications for assistance

BY: Rikki Cason | January 14, 2013

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA) board of directors approved Wednesday applications for assistance that the agency received at its December 2012 board meeting from Covanta Niagara L.P. and 210 Walnut St. for two major economic development projects in the cities of Niagara Falls and Lockport respectively. Both projects combined will result in approximately $50 million of investments in Niagara County, while creating 123 new jobs and hundreds of temporary construction jobs.

“These are great projects that will have a significant economic impact in Niagara Falls and Lockport and our agency is very pleased to offer our assistance to make these projects a reality,” said Henry M. Sloma, Chairman of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. “In Lockport a once abandoned factory site will be renovated in the heart of the city that will be occupied by an internationally respected manufacturing company creating 100 new jobs and in Niagara Falls one of the nation’s largest waste to energy companies is bringing new life to a remediated brownfield.”

Covanta Niagara L.P. plans to invest $30.1 million at its Niagara Falls facility on 56th Street for various capital investment projects to enhance the company’s steam operations capacity.

The capital investments include funding of $5 million to build a new steam line; $10.5 million capital investment to expand steam operations; $9 million to build a new rail transfer facility; and $5.6 million to build a new special waste handling facility.

Covanta Niagara L.P. currently employs 86 workers and once the investment projects are completed the company will add 23 new jobs increasing its workforce to 109 with a total annual payroll of approximately $10.9 million. The projects also will create 160 construction jobs.

Covanta Niagara, L.P. is part of Covanta Energy, an international company that utilizes state-of-the-art green technology to manage facilities that generate energy from waste. Covanta Niagara L.P. provides process steam for several companies in Niagara Falls that provide hundreds of jobs. The need for the expansion is the result of the construction and operations of the Greenpac paper mill facility.

Covanta Niagara L.P. was approved for a 15 year PILOT, sales tax abatements and a mortgage recording tax abatement. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual positive economic impact of approximately $37.8 million in Niagara County. In addition, during the course of the 15 year PILOT, estimated Covanta property tax payments will be more than $17 million. This includes the taxes on the existing plant as well as the capital investments.

A subsidiary of the Greater Lockport Development Corporation (GLDC), 210 Walnut St., LLC plans to renovate two floors of Building 4 in the former Harrison Radiator complex in the City of Lockport. The space would be leased to Trek, Inc., which has committed to being the anchor tenant of Building 4 upon completion of the renovations to the two floors.

The relocation of Trek’s headquarters from Medina will bring 72 jobs to Lockport with the creation of 26 new jobs over the next three years. Trek moved its research and design operations to 57 Canal Street in Lockport in 2011. The estimated cost benefit analysis calculates that the project will have an annual positive economic impact of approximately $18.8 million in Niagara County.

Trek, Inc. is a manufacturer of high voltage amplifiers, electrostatic measurement instruments and a variety of other high tech products. The company has outgrown its facility in Medina and needs a larger footprint to ensure continued growth. Trek has already sold the Medina building and must vacate by the spring of 2013.

A ten year lease will be executed upon the completion of a $4 million renovation of the first and second floors of the building by 210 Walnut Street, LLC. The third floor will be reserved for Trek’s expansion over five years. Additionally, the company will have a future purchase option on the entire building.

210 Walnut Street, LLC plans to start renovations to the 32,000 square foot first floor later in the month in order for Trek to start manufacturing operations in the spring.

Trek plans entails moving administrative functions to the Trek Technology Center at 57 Canal St. until the remainder of the work is completed in the summer.

210 Walnut Street, LLC was approved for a five year Opportunity Zone PILOT followed by a 15-year commercial PILOT, sales tax abatements and mortgage recording tax abatement.

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