GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – After exploring a plan to build a warehouse in Grand Island, Amazon is now turning its sights away from Erie County, for now at least.
“We have decided not to pursue a location in Erie County at this time, although we continue to explore opportunities to invest and grow across the region and New York state,” Amazon spokesperson Rachael Lighty told News 4. “We appreciate the time and attention committed to this potential project by the Town of Grand Island, Erie County, Invest Buffalo-Niagara, and state officials throughout this preliminary process and introductory meetings.”
Some local officials hoped the distribution hub would bring about 1,000 jobs to the region. Wednesday, Grand Island Town Supervisor John Whitney told News 4 the project was pulled out of concerns over possible cost increases. After the project was pulled, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz was hopeful the e-commerce giant would still find a way to grow in the area.
“(W)hile the Grand Island location is now off the table my team is prepared to work with them if necessary to identify another possible location for this regionally-important project or any other project,” Poloncarz said.
Meanwhile, in Niagara County, economic development officials took note when the Grand Island project was scrapped. Legislator Rich Andres, chairman of the Niagara County Economic Development Committee, said his team has reached out to the developer multiple times.
“Our stance on that is anytime we can pursue a big development, lots of jobs, we’re going to go ahead and do that,” Andres said.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.