Calspan is getting nearly $1.1 million in tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for its $7 million project to build a new vehicle crash testing facility at its site in Cheektowaga.
The addition of a 50,000-square-foot testing facility to its Genesee Street complex will help Calspan accelerate its research and development efforts in vehicle safety systems and cement its position as a leader in vehicle crash testing, IDA officials said Wednesday.
The company’s growing Cheektowaga presence, which has added 23 jobs over the past three years, is expected to gain another 11 new positions within the next two years because of the expansion. The company currently employs 113 people at its site near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, said Karen Fiala, the IDA’s assistant treasurer.
“For decades, we have operated a deteriorating facility on Genesee Street, where we are currently crashing vehicles outside in the open,” Peter Sauer, Calspan’s chief financial officer, told IDA officials. “That’s problematic for two reasons. Some of which is noise pollution, the other of which is the proximity to the new hotels and things of that nature that have, in recent years, been constructed adjacent to our property.”
Sauer said Calspan decided to build the new crash testing facility in Cheektowaga despite market pressure from auto makers to locate it closer to their manufacturing sites in Michigan or California.