From The Niagara Gazette – OPENING OF TULIP FACILITY CELEBRATED
A formerly contaminated tract in the city’s North End began a new era on Wednesday, when politicians and company officials gathered to celebrate the Tulip Corporation’s newly completed manufacturing facility.
The new site, built next door to Tulip’s original facility on Highland Avenue over the past 10 months, maintains 80 local jobs and updates the facility’s capabilities. According to Tulip leadership, the former factory was antiquated and stifled the company’s potential for growth.
Tulip specializes in “thermoplastic injection molding” and serves a variety of different industries, including in the production of batteries, bottled water and certain dairy products.
The property was vacant for nearly four decades and was among the largest “active remediation projects” in the state, according to company officials, whom described the site in a press release as a “35-acre wasteland that attracted crime, blight and physical hazards to the Highland Avenue” area.
Mayor Paul Dyster said at the ceremony, “This state-of-the-art facility not only reclaimed and remediated property in a neighborhood that is experiencing renewed investment not seen in many years, but preserves Tulip’s presence in Western New York and its commitment to a workforce that is second-to-none.”
The company’s CEO, Craig Kellogg, said that the local workforce was a “driving factor” in Tulip’s decision to stay in the city of Niagara Falls. Tulip leadership considered moving to the Midwest in order to be closer to its customer base, he said.
“We quickly realized that we would have been hard-pressed to recreate the workforce we have here in Niagara Falls. Most of what we do is science, but how to apply the science involves know-how that is hard to develop.”
Terry Dittes, a United Auto Workers Region 9 Director who represents employees at Tulip, praised the decision.
“On behalf of the members and their families of UAW Local 257, we want to thank … Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his staff for making this new building possible and securing the jobs in New York state,” he said.
Ultimately, the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) awarded $1 million in addition to the 300 kilowatts of expansion power and 1,200 kilowatts of replacement power it already provided the company, for which it has to maintain a workforce of at least 70 individuals.
Empire State Development Corp. agreed to $300,000 in performance-based tax credits and a $250,000 capital grant. The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency granted a 15-year tax abatement plan to save the company $1.9 million.
OSC is also slated to receive $1.6 million in state tax credits through New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, which results from its $25 million investment. National Grid issued a $250,000 economic development grant to offset the cost of a new sub-station and power service to the site. Tulip committed $10.35 million to the project.
OSC and Honeywell donated a 6 acre parcel near the site to the city for use as a public park. There also remains a 21-acre tract, which OSC said could serve “commercial” or “light industrial development” and a 1 acre tract on the corner of Highland and Beach zoned for retail use.
“Reclaiming sites that have been an integral part of our industrial past and repurposing them to play an important role in our region’s future is at the heart of what OSC does as a company,” said Jon Williams, CEO of OSC. “We’re standing at what had been a significantly contaminated site and celebrating its future as a prime location for development and job creation in Niagara Falls.”
[From Niagara Gazette, March 2, 2017]