Lancaster, NY - The communities of Lancaster and Cheektowaga were shaken in January 2016 when a major grocery store chain decided to close its large warehouse facilities in those towns, with the loss of six-hundred jobs.
Now there is the possibility that hundreds of new jobs may be created with a big name tenant coming in to fill one of those warehouses. 2 on Your Side asked Lancaster officials for an update on a story we brought you last Friday.
Lancaster Town Supervisor Johann Coleman says: "We're hoping it's all good news." That's how she
characterizes the report from Channel 2 news partner Buffalo Business First that Amazon is now in planning to take over the now vacant A-Hold USA warehouse on Walden Avenue. The report says the online retail giant plans to use it as one of its distribution centers, which are called fulfillment centers in some communities to fill customer orders.
Coleman says she can neither confirm nor deny it is actually Amazon. But she points out the town was recently approached about the 500,000 square foot facility and the subsequent report emerged involving Amazon.
"We were asked to meet with two representatives of Benderson Development roughly two months ago. They had some questions about the permitting process. And they indicated to us that they had a potential tenant. They were not at liberty to tell us who that tenant was. They at that point indicated that the work that they would be filing permits for would be changes to the interior of the distribution building."
While this would be an interior renovation, could Amazon get any tax break or incentives to move in to this existing facility? They have done so to build brand new highly automated facilities with warehouse robots in other states. 2 On Your Side asked Coleman: "They have gotten some significant tax incentives from local communities because they could be bringing in a number of jobs...would you foresee that as something that the town would look at possibly with Amazon...if it was Amazon?
She responded: "Certainly everyone has the ability to apply or to ask."
Supervisor Coleman says they hope to hear back from Benderson on this plan in the very near future and seek clarification if it is indeed Amazon. Buffalo Business First reported that this regional distribution center could be open later this year.