Land purchase agreement reached for future development of Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend
Albany, NY (July 29, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a Purchase Agreement has been reached between New York State and the City of Buffalo for the purchase of the remaining developable 96 acres of City-owned property at the RiverBend location. The newly-acquired property is in addition to the 88 acres that the State had purchased from the City at the site in May.
“RiverBend is at the forefront of a development boom that has literally transformed Buffalo, and tech companies from across the country and around the world have taken notice," Governor Cuomo said. "Finalizing this Purchase Agreement will ensure that RiverBend is prepared to capitalize on this interest and add to the high tech movement that is taking hold in Western New York. Today, Buffalo truly is on the move.”
The Purchase Agreement was made from the City of Buffalo via the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation to the Fort Schuyler Management Corporation, a not-for-profit entity created by SUNY to manage property transactions on behalf of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
The Purchase Agreement formalizes:
- An agreed upon sale price of $2.8 million;
- An agreement to comply with applicable New York State requirements regarding minority workforce, woman workforce, and minority business enterprise and women business enterprise utilization goals in connection with the project. Those requirements include an overall goal of 20 percent participation for MWBEs, a minority workforce goal of 25 percent and a woman workforce goal of five percent for all construction personnel working on the project;
- A commitment to work with appropriate local education organizations in Buffalo to establish local workforce and training programs to increase opportunities for City of Buffalo residents, especially women and minorities; and
- An agreement to implement a payments-in-lieu-of taxes (PILOT) for future development on the 96-acre parcel if future developments are not subject to property taxes.
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “I am proud of the strategic plan my administration put in place when we purchased this former brownfield property in South Buffalo for $4.6 million in 2008, putting 185 shovel-ready acres of prime industrial/commercial land in the city’s inventory for future development. Today, as we finalize the second purchase agreement between the State and the City of Buffalo for the remainder of the RiverBend site, bringing the State’s total purchase price to $5.3 million, we continue to advance the RiverBend clean energy hub. This adds to the momentum we are seeing everywhere in the City, with more than $4.4 billion in new economic development activity underway, that bringing even more good jobs and extraordinary investment to Buffalo.”
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "RiverBend will be bigger and better than ever now that additional land has been secured to accommodate future use of the site. RiverBend will put Western New York on the map as a global leader in clean energy. As this new industry grows here in Buffalo, it's drawing new attention to our City's resurgence and creating good-paying job opportunities for hardworking Western New Yorkers. With the expansion of the RiverBend footprint, Governor Cuomo is providing Buffalo with a centerpiece for new business and jobs and positioning our region for sustained growth in high-tech industries."
Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns said, “With the finalization of the sale of the RiverBend acreage, feasibility studies and Brownfield plans are behind us. We are shifting away from revitalization strategies for our Brownfields and progressing toward implementation of detailed plans for economic opportunity. As we build a new Buffalo by reusing our underutilized property, photographs will be the only reminders of previous industries.”
Howard Zemsky, Co-Chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, said, “We’re really hitting our stride in Buffalo and Western New York thanks to Governor Cuomo’s continued focus on attracting the right mix of investment and job creation from private companies who see the benefit of doing business here. Acquiring this additional acreage at RiverBend will further strengthen our ability to maintain the momentum that Governor Cuomo’s policies have created.”
Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, Chief Executive Officer and Officer in Charge, SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT, said, “Governor Cuomo knows that the interest and excitement that has been ignited with the clean energy high tech business community by his Buffalo Billion investments is bona fide. There is a buzz throughout this dynamic industry about what’s happening in Buffalo and Western New York and adding more developable, shovel-ready acreage is a wise and prudent strategy. I applaud Governor Cuomo for ensuring that the momentum he has created in the region will continue with more private sector investment and greater job creation."
This is Phase II of development. Under the initial plan for the First Phase development of RiverBend, New York State will invest $225 million in Empire State Development (ESD) capital to establish infrastructure at the site including water, sewer, utility and roads; construct a state-owned 275,000 square foot facility that will house Soraa and Silevo as the first two tenants; and purchase and own equipment. Neither company is receiving direct funding from the State’s investment. Additional facilities will be built over time to accommodate new manufacturing companies operating in the fields of biotech, high tech and green energy. The facilities and equipment will be owned by the SUNY Research Foundation. Area colleges and universities, including SUNY Buffalo, will also benefit from the partnership and contribute to the project’s future growth.