Ciminelli seeks more tax breaks for Conventus Building - The Buffalo News

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Ciminelli seeks more tax breaks for Conventus Building

The developer of the Conventus Building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus plans to seek additional tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for the portion of the building that will be occupied by Albany Molecular Research.

AMRI, an Albany-based drug development firm that plans to bring about 125 research jobs to the area as part of the Buffalo Billion economic development initiative, will occupy the seventh floor of the Conventus Building.

The developer, Ciminelli Real Estate, added the seventh floor to what was originally planned as a six-story building after the IDA already had approved $4.2 million in tax breaks for the project in March 2013.

The additional tax breaks will apply to the 60,000 square feet of space on the seventh floor that will be occupied by AMRI, said John Cappellino, the IDA’s executive vice president.

“This is for the new space,” Cappellino said. “They’re asking for incentives only on the new piece.”

Ciminelli is treating this floor as a “condo” within the larger facility, with the state’s Fort Schuyler Management Corp. owning the space on the top floor and Ciminelli owning the rest of the building.

While the state is responsible for building out the space on the seventh floor, Ciminelli is paying for the cost of expanding the core and the shell of the building, said Dennis Penman, the development company’s executive vice president.

“The condominium owns from the inside of the wall in,” he said. “They’re doing their own buildout once they own the condo.”

The tax breaks will cover sales taxes and mortgage taxes associated with adding a seventh floor.

The Conventus building is about 40 percent completed. Penman said Ciminelli had fast-tracked the expansion of the seventh floor and needed to complete agreements with state officials on the additional floor before turning to the IDA for incentives involving that part of the project.

Fort Schuyler is a state development entity that has been closely involved with the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany and is involved with other Buffalo Billion development projects, including the RiverBend clean energy hub in South Buffalo.

The IDA will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax breaks at 9 a.m. June 30 in the IDA’s office, 95 Perry St. The agency is expected to vote on the incentives at its next meeting July 16.


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