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Kitchen World receives tax breaks for Amherst warehouse project

A growing kitchen cabinet, counter top and appliance distributor that needs a new warehouse is getting tax breaks from the Town of Amherst to support an expansion at its current facility on Transit Road.

Kitchen World Distributing, which makes and sells its products for builders, developers, architects and remodelers, wants to build and equip a 16,025-square-foot warehouse and distribution addition to its current building at 7370 Transit Road. The Amherst Industrial Development Agency on Friday approved just over $90,000 in combined property, sales and mortgage recording tax savings on the $727,500 project.

According to AIDA documents, the company says its leased warehouse in Lockport “is too small” for its needs. Commercial contractors require the company to order more than 150 units at a time, store them, and then ship them to job sites in groups of eight to 10. But the present warehouse’s size doesn’t allow Kitchen World to “efficiently unload, palletize and store cabinets for large commercial projects,” so it needs a new warehouse to enable it to grow.

Additionally, the company is being squeezed out of the Lockport site, which is owned by a member of the family that owns Kitchen World, said David Mingoia, acting executive director of the IDA.

“It’s a small locally-owned business,” Mingoia said. “We don’t often get these scale of projects here, but it’s an important role for the IDA to assist small projects.”

The incentives include $46,489 in property tax breaks over seven years, $38,115 in sales tax breaks and $5,600 in mortgage breaks, but the project would generate $221,424 in new tax payments.

The company plans to start work in June and finish by August, when it would take occupancy. The project is expected to retain four jobs and create three new ones, at annual salaries ranging from $27,000 to $72,000.

In other action, the Amherst IDA:

• Agreed to partner with Wall Street money manager BlackRock Inc. and Erie Community College to participate in the state’s tax-free Startup-NY program using 6,668 square feet of office space at BlackRock’s new data center at 350 CrossPoint Parkway in Amherst. The space, a small part of the larger building that is currently under construction, would be occupied by a new help-desk operation, staffed in part by military veterans, while ECC and BlackRock would collaborate on new curriculum to help train students for financial careers.

• Agreed to slow down its project approval process, so that the public hearing for a project and the vote on the project will occur at two separate meetings in the future instead of being held at the same time, creating an extra 30-day lag time. Board members said they felt they wanted more time to review projects and consider comments before making decisions.

• Approved Hurwitz & Fine PC as its new legal counsel, after considering proposals from eight law firms.