BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Queen City is getting back to its industrial roots, with a manufacturing operation ready to come to Buffalo's waterfront.
A company headquartered in Toronto just bought a chunk of land on the Outer Harbor where it plans to put up to 250 people to work. The Canadian manufacturing company promises to bring new life to the old Port Terminal buildings that have sat vacant for years.
Gracious Living Corporation has agreed to buy 49.5 acres of waterfront property from the NFTA, for $4.7 million cash.
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise Director of Investor and Public Relation Paul Pfeiffer said, "I think a lot of people question, when they look at - Is it recreation? Is it industry? What should we do with some of that space along the waterfront? This is a great answer."
Gracious Living, which makes everything from outdoor furniture to pet products to laminate flooring, will transform the terminals into a manufacturing plant and warehouse, creating hundreds of new jobs over the next three years.
Pfeiffer said, "There is no question that there is a very positive trend towards manufacturing coming back to the community. Welded Tube, Alita USA, Gracious Living now, just in the past couple of weeks. Those three projects alone represent over 500 new jobs in our community and an investment somewhere in the neighborhood of about a combined $200 million."
It was important to the NFTA to find a buyer who would generate some economic activity.
NFTA Executive Director Kimberley Minkel said, "We thought it was the ideal use for that property. It's always been an industrial property; always used for manufacturing, so we wanted to see that use remain."
Two million dollars in tax credits from New York State's Excelsior Jobs Program helped seal the deal.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership President and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen said, "What's good about this, from my point of view, is it helps us market and brand Buffalo as a place on the move."
"People read about success stories, like a Gracious Living, and they say, 'They must know something. Maybe we should check out that community too,'" Pfeiffer added.
Gracious Living now has 120 days to do environmental testing on the site and inspect the buildings. The Buffalo plant will be the company's first location in the United States.
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