12:15 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Uniland receives tax breaks for Delaware/Chippewa project

Uniland Development has received $9.6 million in tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for a major project at a high-profile intersection in downtown Buffalo. 

The incentive package is for Uniland's proposed 12-story mixed-use complex at 250 Delaware Avenue at Chippewa Street. The $51.7 million project would include new corporate headquarters for Delaware North Companies, a hotel, retail space, and a parking ramp. 

An artist rendering of the proposed project
Credit File photo

The board approved $7.8 million in property tax abatements and $1.8 million in sales tax waivers for Uniland. Last month, the ECIDA approved $807,000 in tax breaks for Delaware North. 

DNC 250, Inc. was also granted a seven year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement.

Monday's vote was 15-2 in favor. Uniland Vice President Michael Montante says he is grateful for the strong show of support.

"We really appreciate the ECIDA and the support of the [Brown] administration and of the board and the overwhelming vote of confidence for this project," Montante told WBFO News.

Construction on the 472,000 square-foot structure is expected to begin early next year and be complete by the third quarter of 2015.  

Montante says without the assistance, the project would not have moved forward.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan, who has opposed the tax breaks throughout the process, issued a statement Monday that reads, in part:

“Despite overwhelming public opposition, Uniland has successfully won taxpayer dollars for a project that was always going to happen. Delaware North’s future in Buffalo was never in doubt, but Uniland made the choice to try and convince us otherwise. Not only are taxpayers now subsidizing a wealthy company to move two blocks down the street, we will now have a significant vacancy in downtown Buffalo. Every Erie County taxpayer should realize that because of today’s actions by the ECIDA, our schools will see less funding, the NFTA will see less funding to invest in public transportation, and unlike Uniland, you still have to pay the full cost of your property taxes.