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Surgeon hungers for tax breaks at former restaurant

WHEATFIELD – A spinal surgeon asked the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency for tax breaks Wednesday so he can turn a long-vacant former restaurant into his new medical office.

Dr. Franco E. Vigna, who is currently renting space on Williams Road in Wheatfield, applied for a 10-year property tax break on the building at 6941 Williams Road, which in the past served as a Denny’s Restaurant, a Perkins Restaurant and a Yanni’s Restaurant.

“People are asking me for a spinal injection with a Grand Slam Breakfast,” Vigna joked after presenting his project to the IDA.

Vigna, doing business of Spinal Surgery of Buffalo Niagara, plans the $1.1 million acquisition and renovation of the 4,400-square-foot former restaurant. Vigna, whose practice employs 11 people, proposes to add three more jobs.

The IDA staff calculated that the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, arrangement would save the practice almost $199,000 over the 10-year period. Besides the property tax break, the deal would include an exemption from paying sales tax on building materials, equipment and furnishings, as well as an exemption from paying the county’s mortgage recording tax.

The agency will hold a public hearing on the plan at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 6 in the IDA offices, 6311 Inducon Corporate Drive, Wheatfield. The IDA board is expected to vote on the deal Sept. 14.

In other action Wednesday, the IDA board approved a 15-year PILOT for Reger Holdings, which plans to erect a 60,000-square-foot structure to connect the vacant former Walmart and Sam’s Club stores on Porter Roads at the border between the City of Niagara Falls and the Town of Niagara. The result would be a 316,000-square-foot warehouse, which could include office or industrial space.

The incentives, including mortgage and sales tax exemptions, would save Reger, a West Seneca company, almost $2.2 million on its $9.75 million project. Reger’s IDA application predicted 23 new jobs, although the company admitted last month, when it presented the project to the agency, that it has no tenants signed up for the building yet.


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