A plastics manufacturing plant in Niagara Falls that had once threatened to move to Indiana has completed an $11.7 million expansion that will keep it on Highland Avenue.
Tulip Molded Plastics Corp.'s 82,500-square-foot facility will replace its 113-year-old factory and house a streamlined version of the company's thermoplastic injection molding operation. The company takes old and used plastic, mostly from the automotive industry, and makes new plastic components for car batteries, bottled water and dairy products. It also takes custom orders.
The new building is 42,500 square feet smaller than the old factory, which is located next door on the site of the former Prestolite battery plant. That plant closed in the 1970s and has been vacant ever since. Tulip put a total of $10.35 million toward the project, including costs related to its lease, relocation and installation of equipment.
The facility sits on a former brownfield, which was cleaned by remediation company OSC in preparation for the Tulip project. The cleanup remediated 35 acres of contaminated land. Seven acres of it are devoted to the Tulip building, which OSC owns and Tulip leases. Another 21 acres are ready for commercial or light industrial use, 6 acres will be donated to the City of Niagara Falls for use as a public park and 1 acre is zoned for retail use. OSC owns all the land.
Tulip, owned by Connecticut-based Saugatuck Capital, had once threatened to move to Indiana and take its 80 jobs with it. But a host of incentives convinced Tulip to stay.
The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency awarded OSC tax incentives amounting to $1.9 million over 15 years. OSC will get $1.6 million in tax credits under the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program, which will go toward a cost reduction in the new Tulip lease. National Grid's economic development program granted OSC $250,000 to offset the cost of a new sub-station and power service to the new building. The New York Power Authority awarded Tulip $1 million to subsidize the project, as well as 1,500 kilowatts of power. Tulip also received $300,000 in tax credits and $250,000 grants from Empire State Development.
But Tulip CEO Craig Kellogg ultimately credited the company's workforce with its decision to remain in Niagara County.
"Our employees here in Niagara Falls made the difference," Kellogg said. "Their know-how and passion would have been impossible to replicate elsewhere."
Jon Williams, CEO of OSC, agreed. "There is one reason this facility has been here for over 100 years and has weathered two world wars, a Depression and everything else, and that's Tulip's employees."