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Bureau Veritas, developer seek tax breaks for expansion project in Amherst

The companies behind a nearly $9 million expansion project for a consumer product testing lab in Amherst are seeking tax breaks worth more than $531,000 from the Amherst Industrial Development Agency.

Bureau Veritas Consumer Product Services wants to consolidate its operations at the Northpointe Commerce Park, which have grown over the past 18 years from one to four buildings. It plans to move into an expanded, 97,000-square-foot building at 100 Northpointe Parkway.

The project led by Zaepfel Development, the owner of the office park, includes $2.5 million in renovations to an existing, 54,000-square-foot building and $3.5 million to construct a 43,000-square-foot addition, according to documents filed with the Amherst IDA. Professional services, land acquisition and other expenses bring this part of the project costs to nearly $7 million.

Bureau Veritas wants to eliminate redundancies in its operations at Northpointe Commerce Park, grow its food testing lab and ensure that analytical testing can remain at the site, according to the IDA application. Bureau Veritas said it expects to grow business by 20 to 30 percent following the expansion.

A limited liability company that shares an address and ownership with Zaepfel is seeking, on behalf of Bureau Veritas, $306,250 in sales tax breaks, $50,000 in mortgage recording tax breaks and an uncalculated amount of property tax breaks for the expansion and renovation work.

In addition, Bureau Veritas is seeking $175,000 in sales tax breaks on up to $2 million in new equipment it plans to purchase, said David Mingoia, the IDA's executive director. That brings the total value of the project for both companies to close to $9 million, Mingoia said.

If the tax breaks are approved, construction and acquisition of new equipment would start Aug. 20 and the work would finish in October 2018. Bureau Veritas pledges to retain 260 full-time jobs and create five full-time jobs within two years of the completion of the project.

If the tax breaks aren't approved, the company would consider shifting work from Amherst to Niagara County or consolidating at an existing operation in Ontario, according to its IDA application.

Bureau Veritas is a Paris-headquartered company that provides testing, auditing and certification services in a wide range of industries. It has 61,000 employees in 1,300 offices and laboratories worldwide.

A public hearing on the requested tax breaks will be held at 8:30 a.m. July 21 in the IDA's offices at 4287 Main St., Snyder.

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