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Buffalo Next

Peace Bridge (copy)

Semi-trailer trucks wait in line at the Peace Bridge as they enter Buffalo from Canada.

Joshua Bessex/Buffalo News archive photo

No reason for support required

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency doesn’t usually just hand out money. But it does support local manufacturers.

Therefore, the agency did not hesitate when asked late last month to provide $25,000 to create a new regional resource to help manufacturers in Western New York State export their goods.

The Empire State Development Corp., which already supports exports and trade through nine international offices, is proposing to use a $100,000 grant from Global NY to fund a regional program and staff. The goal is to target local manufacturers, provide them with training and resources for exporting, and assist them in applying for grants from the Global NY program.

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The program is to be led by Invest Buffalo Niagara and World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara. Invest Buffalo Niagara will invest $50,000, while ECIDA and Niagara County Industrial Development Agency will each invest $25,000. The money will be held in trust and used to pay expenses throughout the year, after which it will be reimbursed by Empire State Development.

“We often hear from companies asking where to start,” said Mo Sumbundu, international trade manager for Global NY in ESD’s Buffalo office. “Seventy-five percent of global trade happens outside the U.S., so we try to make sure Western New York is part of that.”

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News brings you the latest stories on the changing economy in Buffalo Niagara – from real estate to healthcare to startups. Read more at

Snack time

The executives of Iskalo Development Corp. must be hungry – because they just bought a snack.

The Williamsville-based real estate developer last month acquired the former “food-grade” headquarters and warehouse facility for Mister Snacks, a local manufacturer of snack and candy packaging for stores and vending machines.

Iskalo paid $2.48 million for the 4.99-acre property at 500 Creekside Drive in Amherst in the Audubon Industrial Park, including a 28,000-square-foot light industrial building constructed in 1999.

Mister Snacks, owned and operated by Michael and Steven Stern, sold all-natural trail mix, dried fruit and nuts, cereal, chocolate, yogurt, candy and other crunchy or savory snacks for over 30 years, particularly under the Sunbird Snacks and Stone Mountain brands, before being acquired by the Howe Co. of Grove City, Pennsylvania, in February 2023 and relocated to that state.

“Institutional quality buildings like the 500 Creekside building are not often available in this market,” said Paul B. Iskalo, CEO of Iskalo. “Mister Snacks officials took great foresight in the design and construction of the building to accommodate future changes in their business and to allow for efficient building expansion on the site. In this regard, the building is ideal for a company seeking a long-term home.”

The Sterns, who owned the property through 500 Creekside Drive Inc., sold it through Blake Commercial Real Estate. Iskalo said it plans to upgrade the building because it plans to rent it out.

“There is strong leasing interest in the building,” said David Chiazza, executive vice president of Iskalo. “We do not expect the building to remain on the market for very long.”

A sweet deal

If the last offer wasn’t good enough, then maybe this is the right one.

Niagara Chocolates sold its industrial warehouse at 3500 Genesee St. in Cheektowaga to Avalon Warehouse Solutions for $6.5 million.

The 12,000-square-foot facility sits on an 8.6-acre site, according to Pyramid Brokerage Co., which handled the deal.

Tax relief

The Hamburg Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation last month awarded tax breaks of just over $150,000 to a Southtowns franchise of a North American cleaning and restoration giant that is looking to expand its facility in the Village of Hamburg.

ServPro of the Southtowns wants to renovate 3,000 square feet of space at its 97 Evans St. facility and build a 6,500-square-foot addition for more office and warehouse space. The site is currently used for storage and parking, but the $900,000 back office and warehouse project will allow the company to hire more staff while also adding manufacturing and warehouse space.

The company, a franchise of Gallatin, Tennessee-based ServPro Industries, said it will retain 30 full-time jobs and create five more. Average annual salaries will be $43,000. Through its T&L Beachfront Holdings Ltd., the company received $97,261 in property tax rebates, $78,750 in sales tax rebates on purchases and $1,500 in mortgage registration tax rebates over seven years.

The IDA is also close to approving an extension and expanded tax credits for Staub Precision Machine, a manufacturer of high-precision machine components that plans to build a 58,000-square-foot factory on a 7.1-acre site on Grimsby Drive to bring its existing operations closer together and accommodate future growth. It is expected to create five full-time jobs within two years while retaining 33.

The company, which plans to consolidate its high-volume manufacturing facilities in the new building from a space on Lake Street, says the $9.72 million project will allow it to expand its operations and maximize its production capacity while easing the space constraints it currently has. It will receive $1.77 million in tax incentives, including a $349,900 sales tax abatement, $72,900 mortgage tax abatement and a 10-year PILOT program that will save $1.46 million.

The project was previously announced in 2021 with a cost of $7.5 million, but the project has changed and the cost has increased.

Further north, the Lockport IDA has also extended and expanded tax credits for a wind turbine manufacturing facility owned by SIVA Powers America. The company plans to purchase property at 1060 Enterprise Drive and build a 10,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and machine shop there to assemble wind turbines and eventually manufacture turbine blades. The facility would also have its own on-site wind turbine to generate its electricity.

The project, which will create 15 full-time and five part-time jobs, was approved in January 2023, but higher costs pushed the total cost to $4.59 million.


New Era Cap Co. made a deal with the National Hockey League.

An innovative residential project in Buffalo is back on track after those responsible had made some significant changes to the project.

The Buffalo Bills new stadium is already attracting viewers.

Back in action: Savarino returns to complete three projects.

The Rise in home prices in western New York State, inflation far exceeds that.

A Canadian metal recycling company won its battle to reopen a South Buffalo junkyard – even if perhaps only temporarily.

Lots of love wants to help Masten Park with new laundromat and apartments

Ray Miranda tries again to Tim Hortons to Orchard Park.

Moog solved a hurdle in the security check by Establishment of a subsidiary.

Beacon Communities wants to buy a Residential project between Broadway and William on the East Side.

In case you missed me

Five reading tips from Buffalo Next:

1. Imagine turning a truck bed cover into a mobile solar power producer. Work sports develops this technology.

2. The focus on semiconductors could increase Production, growth of tech jobs in the WNY.

3. Clarence’s new million dollar house Housing Development.

4. So you want to own a golf course? It’s not all fun and games.

5. The development of Viridi Parente in a changing market.

The Buffalo Next team brings you the lowdown on the region’s economic revival. Email tips to [email protected] or reach Buffalo Next editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

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