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Niagara IDA agrees to 10-acre sale

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency board agreed Thursday to sell 10 acres of land in its industrial park to Savarino Construction Services of Amherst, which will erect four multi-tenant buildings.

"The concept is incubators," said Richard J. Sterben, a Savarino executive who once owned a company that created Inducon Industrial Park. That is now owned by the IDA under the name Vantage International Pointe after the county foreclosed in 1999 because of unpaid property taxes.

Paying $50,000 for the land in the southeast corner of the Lockport Road industrial park, Savarino would spend almost $5.5 million to construct four 30,000-square-foot buildings. Two would offer overhead doors and small offices; the other two would have loading docks. The space would be rented in units of 1,250 square feet each.

Sterben said the Savarino project "drags in a lot of Canadian tenants who want to kick the tires here. . . . If they hit something good, they could go for larger space."

Sterben said construction is expected to start by June 1. As was the case when the IDA sold 15 acres for $75,000 to TBN Transport of Mississauga, Ont., last month, Savarino has six months to start construction or forfeit the land.

The land would be fully taxable, relieving the county of having to pay special district taxes to the Town of Wheatfield. However, both companies are expected to apply for IDA tax breaks, Assistant Director Larry D. Witul said.

The latest deal brings to 66 acres the amount of land that has been sold in the 120-acre park. Savarino also received an option on an additional 10 acres.

"We're using the land bank as an economic-development tool," said Henry M. Sloma, who was re-elected as chairman of the IDA board Thursday.

In other action, the board approved a 10-year property tax break for Health System Services' new location in a former furniture store at Williams Road and Sawyer Drive. The health equipment dealer and Medicaid consultant plans to move its 22 employees from the current location on Tomsen Avenue in Niagara Falls. The $1.09 million project is expected to create four new jobs.

The board also approved three small-business loans: $55,000 to Honeymoon Trail Winery, Cambria; $38,000 to LAR Electronics, Niagara Falls, which sells commercial audio systems; and $25,000 to C.F. Wolcott General Contracting, Cambria.


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