Poloncarz, officials celebrate revitalization of unused site into Tonawanda business sector
Redevelopment of 92-acre industrial site completes key initiative
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined today by Congressman Brian Higgins, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, state Sen. Marc Panepinto, Town of Tonawanda councilmembers Joseph Emminger and Dan Crangle, members of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and the Town of Tonawanda Office of Community Development, and area developers and business leaders to celebrate the grand opening of the North Youngmann Commerce Center. A key economic development piece in the county executive's "Initiatives for a Smart Economy," Erie County provided critical funding for road and infrastructure improvements at the previously unused site to expedite its rebirth as an industrial park.
"With the grand opening of the North Youngmann Commerce Center, Erie County has a new industrial park to attract more business and continue our area's economic growth. Additionally, this project is a good example of smart growth principles, as it uses a parcel of land that had been fallow and transforms it into a hub of economic activity in a first-ring suburb," Poloncarz said. "This parcel of land, which had contributed nothing to the tax rolls, now has one business on-site and another in development, and more are sure to follow. Projects like this are reinvigorating our communities and stimulating economic development all across Erie County."
"This hub for business and job growth in Tonawanda illustrates the success that comes when government makes the investments in critical infrastructure that drives private sector interest and development," Higgins said. "County Executive Mark Poloncarz helped to pave the way for this opportunity through the dedication of critical resources to support infrastructure improvements, and the Town of Tonawanda's leadership and diligence carried his key economic development project through. We were happy to work with them to help cut through the federal agency red tape and see this project move forward."
Higgins' office worked closely with local partners the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate the issuance of permits for the project.
Schimminger said, "Years of effort spanning the decades has now come to fruition as a desolate area long known to Ken-Ton residents as the 'mud flats' is on the verge of becoming a job-generating business park. I applaud Town of Tonawanda officials for their determination and persistence in bringing this project to reality, and I'm certainly pleased that $1 million in engineering and infrastructure assistance from the state's Build-Now NY/Shovel Ready program has played a significant part."
Caruana said, "This business park is the culmination of several years of hard work and dedication across numerous agencies that continued to believe that this project could be built."
Emminger added, "Without the support of our federal, state and county partners, this project would never have happened. It is a result of multiagency cooperation, determination and persistence to see this project to completion."
Erie County's office of economic development has been involved in the planning and design of this business park since 2011, and has worked closely with partners to shepherd the project to completion. First Source will operate in the first building on site, which is over 300,000 square feet, while construction of a 40,000-square-foot facility to house MJ Mechanical is underway. Both projects have been approved for incentives from the ECIDA. Erie County has invested over $2.5 million for necessary road and infrastructure improvements at the site, with funding initially reserved in 2003 and revised in 2011 under previous administrations. A March 2012 letter from Poloncarz to the Town of Tonawanda re-authorized the use of these funds for the project and restarted the development process.
Erie County has already listed this business park in the Erie County Industrial Parks Report, an online source for developers to locate shovel-ready industrial park sites for potential development all around Erie County. The report lists available acreage, zoning, adjacent land, availability of municipal sewer and water, and other features of 30 industrial parks in Erie County.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, visit http://www2.erie.gov/environment/. Find more on the Erie County Department of Public Works, visit http://www2.erie.gov/dpw/, and visit the Erie County industrial Development Agency at http://www.ecidany.com/.