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15-year property tax abatement approved for Fairview Fittings

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency had a batch of fresh deals on its plate Thursday.

The board approved a 15-year property tax abatement for Fairview Fittings & Manufacturing, a Canadian company that plans to more than double the size of its 22,000-square-foot plant in Woodlands Corporate Center off Shawnee Road in Wheatfield.

The $1.6 million addition, covering 25,000 square feet, marks the second time the IDA has helped Fairview. The company received a tax break on the original plant in 2000. The company, which makes hose fittings, among other things, currently employs 37 people and expects to boost that to 50 within two years.

Its new payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreement will bring Fairview $524,500 in overall tax savings, while the PILOT payments on the expansion would total $305,000.

The board also scheduled a public hearing for July 17 on aid to the planned Holiday Inn Express at Niagara Falls Boulevard and 101st Street in Niagara Falls. The 10-year PILOT for the four-story, 87-room hotel would produce payments of $1.2 million during the decade. However, the motel would save $1.6 million on its taxes.

M&S Hotels, headed by Mohan S. Saran of Grand Island, is to construct the 50,000-square-foot hotel on a 2.6-acre parcel.

Ascension Industries of North Tonawanda is seeking a 15-year PILOT on its acquisition of the vacant former American Rubber Products plant at 795 Wurlitzer Drive in North Tonawanda. The building covers 40,000 square feet and is to be purchased for $1.2 million.

Ascension, which already employs 100 at three other sites in North Tonawanda, expects to add 35 new jobs in the expansion. Owner Jack Kopczynski Sr. said the company makes filtration equipment for various industrial customers, some of them international.

IDA Assistant Director Larry D. Witul said he and Michael A. Casale, the county's deputy commissioner for business development, have visited Ascension frequently during their annual efforts at business retention.

A public hearing on the Ascension project will be scheduled later.

The IDA set a July 18 public hearing on the transfer of a 2003 PILOT, which has six years left to run, to the new owner of Summit Wellness Center in Wheatfield.

The medical facility on Williams Road is being sold by Calamar Development to Windrose Medical Properties of Toledo, Ohio, for $5.65 million. Windrose owns about 65 medical office buildings in 10 states, according to its Web site. It is a subsidiary of Health Care Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns 477 properties in 38 states, mostly nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The IDA board also approved the $5,000 purchase of a former railroad right of way next to the Niagara Biomass power plant on Frontier Avenue in Niagara Falls. The IDA will lease the land to Niagara Biomass, which acquired the power plant last year and obtained an IDA PILOT. The parcel is being sold as surplus by the state Department of Transportation.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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