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Original Pizza Logs, business park seek NCIDA incentives

WHEATFIELD – The owners of Original Pizza Logs and Niagara Business Park submitted applications Wednesday for incentives from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency to help them build new facilities in Wheatfield.

Jason R. Cordova, president and sole owner of Original Pizza Logs, last month bought 7.5 acres of land for $37.500 in the IDA-controlled Vantage International Pointe industrial park off Lockport Road. He is now seeking a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, arrangement on his planned $3 million, 30,000-square-foot plant.

Cordova, a former Army captain whose father founded the business behind a Wilson Farms on 18th Street in the Falls, currently operates in 23,000 square feet of leased space in Rainbow Industrial Center on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Wheatfield. Cordona said the space isn’t ideal for food production, and the company is growing. Original Pizza Logs are the “official finger food” of the Buffalo Bills, Sabres and Bisons, as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The property tax break, as well as an exemption on paying sales tax on building materials and equipment plus not having to pay mortgage recording tax, will save Cordona about $148,000 over 15 years, the IDA staff calculated. Cordona projected that his company will increase employment from 20 to 31, almost all full-timers, within three years.

“We hire inner-city people. We have a 401(k) plan,” Cordova said. “I do everything local.”

Also Wednesday, James V. Paolini, owner of Niagara Business Park on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Wheatfield for the past decade, applied for a 10-year PILOT to help him build three 4,000-square-foot multi-tenant buildings on Cory Drive in Wheatfield. The new site is to be called Bulldog Business Park, a name Paolini said his wife chose.

Paolini’s current nine-unit multi-tenant facility is full. “I have a need for more units. I constantly have a waiting list for units in Niagara Business Park,” he said.

Bulldog Business Park, with 12 units open to light industrial, warehouse and distribution tenants, will cost $320,000 to build. The IDA figures the property tax, sales tax and mortgage tax breaks would save Paolini about $50,000 over 10 years. Paolini projects his tenants will create 14 full-time jobs.

The IDA will schedule public hearings on both projects during the next 30 days and will likely vote on the incentives June 10.

Also Wednesday, the IDA board approved an incentive package for Borderworx Logistics, which last month bought 31 acres of land in Vantage International Pointe for $155,000. The Canadian company plans to move its U.S. location from Grand Island to a new 50,000-square-foot facility at Vantage, which will manufacture and distribute plastic products, light fixtures and personal care items. The company is promising that its $3.5 million Gateway Center project will create 61 full-time jobs within three years, while the 15 years of property, sales and mortgage tax incentives will save the company an estimated $582,000.

“It’s a great project. It’s great for the park because it complements other facilities we have,” IDA Chairman Henry M. Sloma said.