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Pine Pharmaceuticals gets nod for expansion in Tonawanda solar park

Construction is expected to begin at the end of this week or early next week on a $5.6 million drug compounding facility in the Riverview Solar Technology Park in the Town of Tonawanda.

Pine Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Pine Pharmacy, will build a 25,000-square-foot, single-story building on a 4.2-acre undeveloped parcel at 355 Riverwalk Parkway. The project got the go-ahead Monday when the Tonawanda Town Board approved the sale of the parcel as a minor subdivision.

Pine Pharmaceuticals is not the only business in its Riverview Solar Technology Park, but this is the first time it has split and sold a parcel in the 150-acre commerce park, said Douglas Elia, president of TM Montante Construction.

The Riverview Solar Technology Park is a TM Montante Development Project described as "New York's first solar ready commerce park."

"Every building we do has a solar component, whether its a roof-mounted array or a ground-mounted array,"  Elia said. "We also pride ourselves on keeping the setting very natural and try to bring in businesses that are like-minded. We want to make sure their vision is in line with ours."

Elia said the company started to work with Pine Pharmaceuticals in 2016.

Pine Pharmacy owner Alfonse J. Muto has said in his application for tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency that he plans to house the company's offices, laboratory, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations on the site. Muto founded Pine Pharmacy in Niagara Falls in 1985 and has expanded the business to Williamsville's Walker Center and to Rochester.

He and his son started Pine Pharmaceuticals in November 2013 to make customized drugs that could be shipped directly to doctors, according to his ECIDA application.

The company was awarded $1.2 million in tax breaks from the ECIDA and will also receive $500,000 in refundable tax credits from the state's Excelsior Jobs Program if it meets it job-creation target. The company has said it currently has 15 employees and has pledged to create 12 new jobs with an average salary of $90,000 within the first two years. By 2021, the company has promised to create 28 new positions.

The 25,000-square-foot building is nearly six times the size of the space it is currently leasing at 100 Colvin Woods in Tonawanda and Elia said Pine Pharmaceuticals has procured enough land to expand the building by another 10,000-square-feet.

Construction of building should be completed in the fall of 2017 and Pine Pharmaceuticals' goal is to be up and running by the end of the year or early 2018.

Other occupants of Riverview Solar Park Technology are FedEx, ADT, CSX, Unifrax, Metal Mart and Sherex.

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