Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Looking back at 2013, one thing is for certain in terms of economic development in the Town of Lockport. A lot happened.
That’s according to Executive Director David R. Kinyon’s annual report he shared Thursday with the town Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors.
There were some big announcements, like the construction of the second phase of Yahoo’s campus, a $170 million investment that’s expected to bring in 115 jobs. Basil Auto is opening a Volkswagen dealership on South Transit Road, a $4 million project that involved renovating Basil’s former Toyota sales center.
Also in 2013, the IDA began the process of acquiring 91 acres of land from General Motors via eminent domain in order to expand its industrial park. The Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court ruled the IDA could continue with the process.
And, while not an IDA project, construction began on the long-awaited Walmart supercenter on South Transit.
“The year 2013 was a transformational one,” Kinyon said.
In 2012, the IDA laid out a three-year plan with the goals of adding 300 new jobs and $30 million in new capital investment. For 2013, Lockport stands to see the addition of 192 jobs and $175 million in new investment, once all of the projects started during the year are complete.
The IDA also wanted to work with Buffalo Niagara Enterprise to increase marketing and business recruitment. The agency did that, as publications were sent to hundreds of businesses and working with Buffalo Niagara Enterprise led to two dozen prospects, Kinyon said.
A number of new businesses have moved or will move into town, including Mattress Firm, Smarty Pants Consignment and Integris Financial Services. Hertz Rent A Car is moving in on South Transit Road in front of the South Lockport Fire Hall, while Planet Fitness opens Monday.
Titanium Demolition & Remediation, JA Custom Works and TEMASYS took over the vacant former Custom Laser buildings. Custom Laser moved to Akron Road. Moley Magnetics added 450 square feet of office space on IDA Park Drive, while Johnson-Rose Corp. expanded its warehouse on Crown Drive.
The year-end financial report said the agency was $167,000 in the red, but that was because the Yahoo deal and a 12,000-square-foot expansion involving Gooding Co. closed late in the year, Kinyon said.
“Expenses have hit the books, but we’ve haven’t had the corresponding revenue hit yet,” said Eric Connor, IDA treasurer.
Also on Thursday, the IDA Board of Directors elected Thomas Sy as chairman, R. Thomas Weeks as vice chairman, Connor as treasurer and Duncan Carlson as secretary.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.