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Depew manufacturer gets tax breaks for addition to factory

QMC Technologies, a Depew company that makes stainless steel machined parts, is getting more than $89,000 in tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for its $575,000 expansion project that will increase its space by almost two-thirds and create three new jobs.

QMC plans to build a 9,800-square-foot addition to its 15,500-square-foot factory at 4388 Broadway in Depew to expand its manufacturing capacity and provide the 36-year-old business with additional space for assembly and storage.

Even with the tax breaks, which the IDA approved Monday, the expansion is expected to generate an additional $18,500 in tax revenue during the seven years covered by the property tax break that QMC received.

The expansion will expand QMC’s manufacturing space by about 1,400 square feet, while adding an additional 8,400 square feet of assembly and storage space, said Karen Fiala, the IDA’s assistant treasurer.

QMC, which currently has 20 employees, will receive property tax breaks worth $68,470, along with an estimated $15,000 in sales tax savings and a $5,750 reduction in mortgage taxes.

IDA officials also said work is poised to begin after the holidays on a long-discussed project to relocate about two miles of rail lines on the former Bethlehem Steel property to open up about 400 acres along Route 5 for redevelopment.

The $4.7 million project, funded primarily with state money and a $300,000 grant from National Grid, will move the rail lines to the middle and back portions of the property, clearing the land along Route 5 for future development of the brownfield site as a 400-acre business park. A 40-acre parcel already has been sold to Welded Tube, a Canadian steel company that plans to build a $50 million steel products plant with as many as 120 workers.

Moving the rail lines has been in the works since 2007, but John Cappellino, the IDA’s executive vice president, said work is expected to begin on the project after the holidays and should be completed by next summer or fall.

“Even though it’s been a long time coming, it’s good to see some action out there,” Cappellino said.

With upwards of 1,000 acres available across the entire Bethlehem site, IDA officials believe that the property, once it is cleaned up and the infrastructure work is completed, eventually could be attractive to a business that needs large amounts of land that could be developed quickly.

IDA officials also said the agency has sold the last of its stock in Synacor Inc., the Buffalo-based Internet content provider that went public earlier this year, reaping a $3.7 million profit in the process.

The IDA obtained its stake in Synacor through venture capital investments it made in 2003, 2004 and 2007 at a cost of $420,000. Once the IDA was free to sell its shares, beginning in late summer after a lock-up period expired that had restricted the ability of company insiders and its original investors to sell their shares, the agency sold its stake over a six-week period that ended in mid-October.

In all, the IDA was able to sell its Synacor stock for an average price of $7.57 per share, which is well below the early summer peak when speculators had driven up the share price, but well above the stock’s current price, which has dipped below its $5 initial public offering price as the speculation has eased and early investors have been selling shares after the expiration of the lock-up period. “We definitely sold it for a good price,” said Theresa Carpenter, the IDA’s assistant treasurer.