The former Linde Air Manufacturing complex on Chandler Street is set to become an incubator for companies that are part of the Start-Up NY tax incentive program.
The $10.6 million project by developer Rocco Termini will convert the building, which was built in the early 1900s and has been vacant for 14 years, into incubator space that initially will house four start-up companies that currently employ 50 people.
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday approved $188,400 in tax breaks for the project, which also will include two apartments.
Set to move into the incubator, located in the Pierce Arrow Business Park, are:
- ENrG – a research and development stage company that is gearing up to begin production on a gas permeable ceramic material. The company recently raised $2.5 million in a round of fundraising.
- Utilant – a software developer for national and international companies.
- Blackbird Cidery – a Lockport-based company that is expanding its operations into Buffalo.
- Thin Man Brewery – a Buffalo craft brewer that will locate its canning operations in the new facility.
The project is expected to create 20 new jobs, but Termini had asked the agency's policy committee for an exemption from its job creation commitment, citing the high-risk nature of start-up businesses.
The policy committee declined to grant the exemption, not wanting to create a precedent from its policy allowing it to claw back tax breaks on projects that don't meet job creation or investment promises. However, the committee expressed a willingness to consider any extenuating circumstances should the project fall short of its job or investment commitments.
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