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Athenex, Casilio Cos. win tax breaks for expansion

Athenex Inc. and real estate developer Casilio Cos. won a package of tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency to support an expansion project for the drugmaker's Newstead manufacturing facility.

Buffalo-based Athenex wants to build an 8,000-square-foot addition to the current 18,500-square-foot production plant at 11342 Main St., which has been occupied by Athenex Pharma Solutions, formerly QuaDPharma, since 2011. The building was constructed in 1991, and was used for offices before QuaDPharma took over.

The company had announced plans for the Newstead expansion a year ago, with the intention of growing the facility to 40,000 square feet so it can continue to produce small-batch drugs. The $1.5 million expansion, which will be twice the size of the original plan, is critical for Athenex, which says it will retain 55 full-time jobs and add another 25 as a result of the construction, with an average annual salary of $65,186.

Group V Real Estate, a Casilio affiliate that was formed in 1992 and owns the plant property, sought and received $53,000 in property tax savings, $59,063 in sales tax breaks and up to $19,000 in mortgage recording tax savings. The project cost includes $600,000 for the addition, $500,000 for renovations and $250,000 for infrastructure, plus soft costs. Work on the 20-acre site will include a new septic system, reconstruction of the parking lot and construction of a new loading dock.

IDA officials noted that the state has invested heavily in the company's success, agreeing to spend $200 million to construct a new manufacturing facility in Dunkirk and $25 million to expand and improve the sixth floor of the Conventus Building in downtown Buffalo for Athenex's headquarters.

The project also is expected to create eight construction jobs, paying a total of $422,757, as well as $2.1 million in estimated new sales, property and income tax revenues over 10 years.

Work on the project is slated to begin in the spring, with completion within six months.

"As soon as we can get a solid bid contract going, we can break ground," said project manager Carolyn Casilio Vinci.

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