UPDATE: Rocco Termini has confirmed the Erie County Industrial Development Agency voted to approve his request for more than $130,000 in tax breaks, and will now move forward with his plans to build a new location for Thin Man Brewery on 166 Chandler Street.
Thin Man Brewery has been open for about a year; since August, 2016, the brewery has not only flourished, but has totally outgrown its location at 486 Elmwood.
Now, plans are in place to move the brewery to North Buffalo, and developer Rocco Termini is looking for help in the form of tax breaks and mortgage recording.
On Monday morning, Termini appealed to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for a total of more than $130,000 in assistance.
We caught up with Termini after his meeting with ECIDA Monday morning, and asked him why he requested these tax breaks, in the wake of Thin Man’s rapid success.
“Do you know how much it costs just to clean up the ground around here?” Termini asked. “It’s huge expenses because this is the Brownfield Corridor. Right across the street where we’re doing our other building, it’s costing us over $2 million dollars just for the cleanup. Even though we are getting Brownfield’s tax credits, they only pay for 40%, we pay for the rest of it.”
With the money, Termini would transform 166 Chandler Street into the new brewery, creating about 20 new jobs amid its 50,000 square foot facility.
If it’s approved, of course.
We asked Termini if he believed the creation of only 20 jobs was enough to validate thousands in taxpayer dollars.
“If you look at what the state has spent for job creation, you just go to Tesla and see what the state spent for job creation there. What we’re asking for here is a small fraction,” said Termini. “Even though we’re creating 20 jobs, it doesn’t seem like a lot of jobs, but there’s also the spin off of things that we’re buying from local distributors that will create more jobs that way also.”
Without the tax breaks, Termini said the site would likely be used for some kind of warehousing, as it would be far too difficult to open a new brewery site without assistance.
For now, he said, he doesn’t have a Plan B.
ECIDA members will meet on Thursday to discuss the request, and public comments are welcome through August 22nd; the board will vote on whether to approve the tax breaks on the following day, August 23rd.