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First Niagara growing at Larkin

First Niagara Financial Group is expanding its presence in the Larkin at Exchange Building downtown, adding space to its existing office there with plans to bring up to 100 new jobs there.

Bank officials do not know yet what types of functions and exactly how many people will be housed there when the Lockport-based savings bank takes occupancy of the extra 25,000 square feet of space on the sixth floor in the fall. The space is being vacated as two other tenants move out.

Spokeswoman Leslie Garrity said officials are "preliminarily" looking at adding 60 to 100 employees, but "harder numbers will not be available until after the evaluation." She said it's likely to be a combination of new jobs and employees moved from elsewhere.

The bank's Buffalo Regional Market Center, based on the ninth floor of the building since 2006, houses about 200 business services employees in a range of functions, including commercial lending, commercial loan administration and servicing, risk management, leasing and other sales employees. That office has 60,000 square feet of space.

The bank also has a branch on the first floor of the building, but that's separate from the lending and back-office functions upstairs.

Garrity called the expansion "an excellent opportunity" that "arose for us to expand upon the success we've already had."

"It just made smart business sense to pursue this available space now given the growth of our operations and our proven relationship with Larkin Development over the past three years," Garrity said by e-mail.


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