Genesee County: Generating Growth In A New York Minute

Fast approval times along with preparation and delivery help maximize western New York’s abundant talent and power.

By the BF Staff
From the September/October 2020 Issue

Interstate 90 traffic moves quickly, connecting New York’s second and third largest metropolitans—Buffalo and Rochester—with three immediate entrances in Genesee County. The region’s talent moves rapidly through training programs in a population of 2.3 million, with nearly two-thirds of adults either having a college degree or progress toward one.

Most impressive is an accomplishment that enabled a 363,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility to speed through approvals.

Genesee County, NY
(Photo: Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC))

“A 15-day building permit approval was the fastest ever recorded by a Haskell Project anywhere in the world. We began moving earth on day 16!” Haskell Executive Juan Carlos Salom said of Project Wave.

That project has been followed by multiple expansions, land sales and specialized training programs that made the facility the largest in Genesee County’s business park portfolio. That level of preparation and delivery has been repeated for companies locating and growing in the top-performing county.

“For our companies and our community, the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) is their best partner in maximizing western New York’s abundant talent and power,” said Steve Hyde, the President and CEO of the GCEDC. “We’ve accomplished it through our experience and energy to build a strong future for our kids.”

Genesee County’s newest project also is known as New York’s Mega Site. The 1,250-acre Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) is close enough to Buffalo and Niagara Falls to capture 1.1 million residents in a 30-minute commute and 485 megawatts of low-cost hydropower ($0.03 kilowatt-hr.).

At STAMP, New York has two campuses available for site selectors. The North Campus offers an immediate connection to a pair of dual 345-kV electric lines and gas from the Empire Pipeline, in addition to construction of expanding water and wastewater systems. The 650-acre contiguous parcel accommodates utility-intensive projects of 500,000 to 5 million square feet.

The site has been designed, permitted and developed to the thresholds for multiple semiconductor manufacturing fabs, and Chris Suozzi, the Vice President of Business and Workforce Development at the GCEDC, says renewable energy manufacturing and advanced manufacturing are industries intrigued by STAMP North’s size.

“Everyone that sees the site is overwhelmed by the scale and location of our site,” Suozzi said. “This is the next-level site for big projects.”

STAMP’s South Campus offers immediate access to parcels ranging from 20 to 70 acres, with the capacity for over 1 million in total square feet of production. Suozzi is marketing the site to two industries that have succeeded repeatedly in Genesee County—food and beverage products manufacturing, and warehousing and logistics.

“In the last decade, HP Hood, the Upstate Niagara Cooperative and O-AT-KA have worked with Genesee County to grow operations in our 1 million-square-foot food and beverage hub,” Hyde said of the 250-acre Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

The outputs of that growth are being managed effectively.

“We’re nearing full capacity of the park and are adding another training center in our community specifically for the F.A.S.T.— food processing, advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, technicians — jobs that have exploded with these projects,” Suozzi said. “Ag Park is selling out.”

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