Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — According to Dehn, Lockport came up the winner thanks in part to the persistence of Bell and Mayor Michael Tucker, who pulled out all the stops trying to make a city site financially attractive to the company.
Trek looked at two options in the city, including undeveloped acreage off Summit Street that GLDC earlier this year made arrangements to buy in the event the company wanted to build there. Dehn was pricing out that option when Bell and Tucker presented him with an outwardly improbable alternative: old Harrison Place, the “build-out” of which would actually cost more than a new build.
“It’s something that at first seemed really far-fetched,” Dehn said. “Chuck and Mayor Tucker did a great job of showing us the vision they had, and that it was possible. ... We’re really excited about the image (Building 4) will project, the message it will send to our customers” about innovation and success.
“Old manufacturing leaving, and new manufacturing coming in, is a wonderful story for Lockport,” added Gregory Sehr, a Trek consultant who’s aiding the company’s search for government support — grants, tax breaks and the like — during new-site selection.
Trek also likes Lockport for its proximity to the University at Buffalo, whose engineering graduates are ripe for recruitment, and proximity to Medina where 72 employees currently are based.
Relocating without putting those employees out of work is a company ideal, Dehn said, “but it has to make economic sense.”
More than 90 percent of the workforce would be able to make the daily drive to Lockport without major inconvenience, and thus keep their jobs, he predicted.
Trek relocation to Harrison Place is not a done deal due to unsettled financial and construction issues, Bell and GLDC attorney John Ottaviano stressed.
The agency loans that would underwrite Building 4 renovation are contingent on an appraisal that’s not finished yet; city planning and zoning approvals haven’t been obtained; and any environmental “surprises” uncovered during construction could also derail the project, Bell said.