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AMHERST IDA OKS INCENTIVES FOR EXPANSION AT CROSSPOINT

A $1.7 million expansion ofCrossPoint Business Park won unanimous backing from the Amherst Industrial Development Agency on Friday when planners approved a tax-incentive package that will save the developer more than $291,000 in taxes over 10 years.

The Uniland Partnership of Delaware, an Amherst-based developer, will build a 35,980-square-foot building in a growing business park off North French Road.

Carl Montante Jr., Uniland's assistant director of finance, told IDA members that a major tenant has already been landed for the building, which is slated for completion in June. Spinneybeck Enterprises Inc., a distributor of upholstery leather, will occupy about 90 percent of the building. Spinneybeck is currently located at the Amherst Development Park on Bailey Avenue, a property owned by Benderson Development Co. Inc.

"The company needs to expand," said Montante. "Its business is growing and the current location can't meet (Spinneybeck's) needs."

Spinneybeck is a 40-year-old company that began as a family-owned business in Canada. It is currently owned by the Pennsylvania-based Knoll Group. Spinneybeck distributes upholstery leather to manufacturers of aircraft seating, yachts, office furniture and other goods. The company currently employs 56 and officials project that will remain stable over the next two years. In response to concerns raised by IDA director James Cullinan, staffers acknowledged that Spinneybeck previously occupied space in the agency-assisted Audubon Industrial Park until its move to Bailey Avenue about five years ago. Agency Executive Director James J. Allen said the move was necessitated by a company downsizing that occurred in the mid 1990s.

"But the good news is that they are in a growth mode at this point," Allen said.

Montante said the remaining 4,000 square feet in the new office and warehouse facility will be marketed to other prospective tenants.

The agency approved an inducement package that will save Uniland $222,571 in property taxes over 10 years. The incentives also include $52,200 in sales tax savings and $17,000 in mortgage recording tax savings. But agency officials said the vacant land currently generates about $2,000 in annual town, county and school taxes. They estimated that the new development will generate more than $275,000 in additional tax revenue over the 10-year abatement period.

In other AIDA action, directors approved $762,350 in bond financing for construction of an office building at 60 Bryant Woods South.

Nearly half of the space in the 6,350-square-foot facility will be used by Buffalo Structural Steel Inc., which is expanding its administrative offices. The company currently occupies about 2,500-square-feet of space on John James Audubon Parkway. BSS Realty LLC, the company that requested the bond financing, will market the remaining space in the new facility to a future tenant that is looking for office space.

Officials said M&T Bank has agreed to purchase the bond.

The agency also authorized Ciminelli Development Co. Inc. to lease space at 455 Commerce Drive to Tri-Line Automation Corp., a newly formed company that is headquartered in Rochester. Tri-Line will lease 1,100-square-feet of space for its fluid power and controls sales office. Four employees will work out of the Commerce Drive office and Tri-Line expects to hire two additional workers within two years.

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