The Empire State Development Board of Directors has approved nearly $200 million for three Buffalo economic development projects under the Buffalo Billion initiative.
The announcement was made by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.¬†‚ÄúThese projects are another example of how our Buffalo Billion strategy is invigorating the economy of Western New York ‚Äì by building on the region‚Äôs strengths, attracting private investment and creating sustainable, good paying jobs,‚Äù said Gov. Cuomo.
One of the projects approved for funding is the Buffalo High-Tech Innovation and Commercialization Hub at RiverBend ‚Äì a $1.7 billion project being undertaken by a public-private partnership that will convert the formerly vacant brownfield manufacturing site into a campus for high-tech and green energy manufacturing businesses.
The ESD Board approved a $107 million grant for this project, to be used as reimbursement for real estate acquisition, site and infrastructure development, and construction costs. This $107 million brings the State‚Äôs commitment for the Riverbend project to $225 million, including the $118 million that was approved by ESD in March 2014.
The project‚Äôs anchor tenants are Soraa and Silevo, and the initial phase is expected to create 850 jobs. Over time, the project will include six new structures that will accommodate 1,200 new jobs in green energy, high-tech and biotech. The Riverbend project aims to establish Buffalo as an advanced research and manufacturing hub for clean energy technologies.
The ESD Board also approved another $35.3 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Institute that will be operated by EWI. This institute is being established to help local manufacturers in Western New York develop, commercialize and implement the latest manufacturing technologies and to help them solve production issues that lead to greater operational efficiencies.
The third Buffalo economic development project getting a $55 million grant is the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, which is expected to create 500 jobs in Buffalo. This is again a public-private partnership that is establishing a high-end software development center in downtown Buffalo with IBM as the anchor tenant.
The Fort Schuyler Management Corporation will own the real estate and specialized IT equipment including high-speed servers and supercomputers that will be used by IBM and other companies to develop cutting-edge software for industries such as health, defense and the energy sector.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said that Western New York is energizing economic growth by focusing on advanced manufacturing and the life sciences.