A public hearing that was plannned for tonight to discuss the proposed tax breaks being sought by Uniland Development Co. and Delaware North Companies has been cancelled because the tax break application has been temporarily withdrawn.
State Assemblymembers Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Sean Ryan had called the hearing at Evergreen Commons on Georgia Street in Buffalo to seek public comment on Uniland’s proposal to build a 12-story office and hotel tower with a five-level parking garage at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Chippewa Street.
The project at 250 Delaware is intended to be the new corporate headquarters of Delaware North, which would also operate the 119-room hotel.
The parking garage was designed to accommodate Delaware North’s 350 current employees and 65 more the company plans to hire, as well as hotel guests and the general public.
But a major controversy over an unusual set of tax breaks and assistance requested by Uniland caused the proposal to be tabled by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency a week ago, and Uniland said late Friday that it would revise and resubmit the application this week, with scaled-back plans and only standard tax breaks.
“In light of the fact that Uniland Development has indicated they will be submitting a new application to the ECIDA, and the fact that we do not know all the details of the new application, we have decided to cancel the public hearing scheduled for this evening,” the lawmakers said.
“The goal of the hearing was to discuss Uniland’s previous application, and with that proposal now off the table, it would be best to wait until we review the new application before discussing it.”
Meanwhile, ECIDA is still proceeding with a special meeting of its Policy Committee on Friday afternoon to review the separate application by Delaware North for $800,000 in sales tax abatements for the project. That proposal has received widespread support from business leaders and politicians from Mayor Byron W. Brown to Gov. Cuomo, all of whom urge the ECIDA to approve the request in order to retain Delaware North’s headquarters in Buffalo.