The first phase of the long-awaited IBM technical center at the KeyCenter in downtown Buffalo could employ 50 people by the end of the year, executives said at a dedication event Friday.
The Buffalo Innovation Center is being funded through the Buffalo Billion initiative. The goal is to create a software development center with state-of-the-art equipment anchored by IBM.
IBM brought the first 10 employees to Buffalo in the fall. Work on the permanent $55 million software development hub is expected to begin this summer or fall after Delaware North moves out of its current offices in KeyCenter.
Eleven people work at the center now, and that is expected to double in two weeks.
The state will spend $15 million to buy part of KeyCenter and build it out for IBM, and $40 million to buy equipment and software that will be used by IBM and potentially other companies that might be lured to the center.
The software development hub is expected to grow slowly, taking until September 2020 before it must reach its 500-job target, which includes positions from IBM, its partners, suppliers and contractors.