BUFFALO, NY-- After months of controversy, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency on Monday approved $9.6 million in tax breaks to the Uniland Corporation to build a new headquarters building for Delaware North.
The 15-2 vote was anti-climatic after an ECIDA committee recommended the deal two weeks ago.
Uniland will receive the tax breaks as it spends $51 million to put up a building at the corner of Delaware and Chippewa in downtown Buffalo.
Under the deal, Delaware North is moving two blocks from the Key Towers into the new 12 story building, it will add 65 good paying jobs to the 350 it currently has here.
Michael Montante, Uniland Vice President: "It secures Delaware North, it will serve as Delaware North's headquarters for at least the next 20 years keeping Delaware North is the priority. Over the 20 years the estimated impact of Delaware North on our community is close to one billion dollars.
The big question all along was did Uniland need the tax breaks?
Scott Brown: "Couldn't this project have gone through without the tax breaks?"
Michael Montante: "No it could not, the economics just don't work without them."
Although Delaware North was not threatening to leave Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown said the company was getting feelers from out of town.
Mayor Brown: "There were other states, there were other cities, there were governors from other states that were reaching out to them that were putting substantial benefits and offers on the table that would try to lure Delaware North out of the city of Buffalo and I'm glad that they were committed to this community."
The county executive said taxpayers are protected in the deal because if Delaware North doesn't add the promised 65 jobs, Uniland will lose its tax breaks.
County Executive Mark Poloncarz: "We're going to hold them accountable and we also need to show everyone that we do want to see businesses expand here."