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Buffalo works to fill empty Ford buildings

Dawn Huczek
via Flickr
Ford's legacy in Buffalo has lead to a real estate opportunity.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is strapped with two empty terminals in the Buffalo harbor, originally built by Ford.  Robert McCarthy at the Buffalo News reports that the authority is hustling to get the property filled:

The NFTA has vigorously marketed Terminals A and B in recent months as ideal space for manufacturing or warehousing — indeed, for anything. The authority is advertising the almost 400,000 square feet of warehousing and office space, the high bay doors, rail and water access, office space and parking for 500 cars. But for almost a year, there have been no takers. “There are no immediate prospects, but we continue to show it,” said Ruth Keating, the authority’s senior counsel and manager of real property. “We still view it as a viable commercial enterprise.”

Global Foundries

A former Albany area town supervisor is pushing for the Shenendehowa school district to be included in a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal struck by the chip fabrication firm GlobalFoundries.  Larry Rulison writes at the Times Union that Kevin Dailey wants to see the current agreement, which swaps a tax bill for set payouts by GlobalFoundries, "torn up" and rewritten.

Verizon fallout

Western New York's inability to recruit Verizon for a data center in the region will have "fallout," reports David Robinson at the Buffalo News:

“We’re going to get a black eye from this,” says Thomas Kucharski, president of the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise business development and marketing group, which had been working to lure the Verizon project to the Town of Somerset. “Nobody’s happy about it.” The news that Verizon is scrapping the proposed data center only reinforces the perception that the Buffalo Niagara region is a tough place to do business. “It’s a shame,” says James J. Allen, the executive director of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency. “I’ll be shocked if it’s not all over the country.”


Property taxes

Advocates of the governor's property tax cap continue to rally for a second part of that measure: fewer spending obligations passed on by state and federal government.  Jill Terreri at the Democrat and Chronicle reports:

"Right now I think frankly there's really not enough mandate relief in the budget right now," said Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, a member of the governor's Mandate Relief Task Force. "There are a lot of things that we must do and I know that's why this team continues to exist to find what will help offset resources that are not in the budget for municipalities right now." But some business groups cheer Cuomo's contention that the tax cap could come before mandate relief measures, preferably tucked into the final budget plan for the 2011-12 fiscal year. Having the tax cap in the budget "means the issue will have to be addressed in a way that is good for New Yorkers," said Brian Sampson, executive director of the Rochester-based Unshackle Upstate. Once the cap is in place, state lawmakers should turn their attention to costly mandated spending imposed by Albany on local governments, Sampson said. "Once you cap property taxes, you have to deal with the mandates."

Buffalo in the limelight

And finally, this is only marginally related to business, but it’s still cool: Rust Wire points out that The Travel Channel will be featuring Buffalo in an upcoming show.


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