ELLICOTTVILLE – Community Bank wants to build a $6 million back office operation on Route 417 in Allegany and is asking for help from the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency.
Last year the bank proposed putting the loan and mortgage operation in an empty school building in Olean but that deal fell through. In February it bought the 10-acre site in Allegany, across from St. Bonaventure University, where it would build a 25,000-square-foot building.
Corey Wiktor, executive director of the IDA, said the bank, through real estate adviser Robert Strell is asking for sales tax abatement and a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement from the IDA.
He said the bank would move 100 employees to the Allegany facility, which would help it preserve 250 jobs in the county. No new jobs would be created.
Strell said the bank also plans to upgrade its operation at 201 N. Union St. in Olean.
Final drawings for the new building should be ready for review in the next few weeks, according to Strell. If all stays on schedule, construction will start in late May or early June, he said, with an aggressive time frame calling for it to be completed by late fall.
“The IDA, under the leadership of Corey Wiktor, has been instrumental in opening doors to the site at Bonaventure Square,” Strell said.
“The university has been very fair to work with as well. They [St. Bonaventure] will still have some land available to them, and every dollar we are planning to invest in the property will help them in attracting business to the site as well.”
Helping the bank to expand its footprint in Cattaraugus County is a good step, according to Wiktor. Community Bank has branches in New York and Pennsylvania, with more than 170 facilities. The company, which is publicly traded, is headquartered near Syracuse.
“This is a significant project with a significant investment,” Wiktor said. “This move will largely allow the bank to grow in other areas and departments where they are currently pressed for space. This move helps solidify their operations in the region and county.”
The project will have to undergo a public hearing in the area close to where all of the development will begin. That hearing, according to Wiktor, will happen in the first week of April. A time and location has yet to be determined.