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ECIDA OKs tax breaks for four projects

Vanocur Refractories, a Town of Tonawanda company that makes cast blocks used to refurbish coke ovens, plans to add about 40 jobs and move into the old New York Wire Mills plant in the Town of Tonawanda.

Vanocur will occupy slightly less than a quarter of the 219,000 square feet of space in the abandoned River Road facility, which will be owned by Braxner LLC, a real estate holding company related to Tonawanda Coke.

Braxner was granted $130,000 in property, sales and mortgage tax breaks Monday by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. With Vanocur occupying 50,000 square feet of space in the building, Braxner hopes to find other tenants to move into the plant, which it acquired for $400,000 from Ivaco Steel Processing.

Vanocur, which currently has four employees, uses a repair system that was developed by engineers at Tonawanda Coke to make cast block modules that are used to refurbish coke ovens. The process has been used at Tonawanda Coke and Vanocur has contracts to make and install cast block modules in three coke ovens at Sloss Industries in Birmingham, Ala., IDA officials said.

Vanocur, which currently leases a small building on the Tonawanda Coke property, had indicated that it would consider moving to the Erie Coke facility in Erie, Pa., that is owned by the principals of Tonawanda Coke if it were not able to move into the River Road plant, IDA officials said.

The $600,000 renovation project is expected to generate an additional $77,000 in tax revenues for Erie County, the Town of Tonawanda and the Ken-Ton School District, IDA officials said.

The agency also approved $339,800 in tax breaks for a $3.1 million project that will allow Allied Interstate to move its call center from Amherst to Cheektowaga and add 150 jobs over the next two years. Allied Interstate's parent company, IntelliRisk Management Corp., also is in line to receive a $500,000 capital grant through the state's Empire State Development Corp.

The IDA approved $170,800 in tax breaks to D/Q Associates, an affiliate of Benderson Development Co., to renovate and equip a former Quality Markets at 540-570 Dick Road. The call center is expected to occupy about half of the 55,910-square-foot facility, which has been vacant since 1994. IntelliRisk was granted $169,000 in sales tax breaks.

The IDA also approved $736,000 in tax breaks for Moog Inc., which is building a 17,500-square-foot facility on its Elma campus for aircraft systems testing and integration work associated with its involvement with the Joint Strike Fighter program.

The $5.4 million project is not expected to add to the company's 1,937-person work force, but it will generate about $363,000 in additional tax revenue for local governments, IDA officials said.

The agency also approved a change that will allow a project at 937 Broadway by developer E Square Capital and CWG Development Associates to shift its focus from low-income senior housing to multifamily affordable housing. IDA officials said state officials requested the change in focus for the 40-unit housing project because of the soft market for senior housing.


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